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SWORD FIGHT! Assistant Public Works Commissioner Roan Creque ‘Sis’pended Without Pay For Openly Defying Mapp On Debris Burn Policy During Legislative Hearing

IT’S RAINING MEN! Assistant Public Works Commissioner Roan Creque enjoys some good times with his “back” street buddies in St. Thomas. Despite the tiff between Creque and Gov. Kenneth Mapp, sources said that they are still sweet on each other.

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Loose cannon Roan Creque has been sacked!

At least for two weeks.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp said that Assistant Public Works Commissioner Creque openly objected to his debris burn policy in a recent legislative session.

Mapp announced the suspension at a press conference Monday without identifying Creque by name.

Mapp equated Creque’s statement of his opinion before the Senate Committee of the Whole on Thursday with setting a different policy for the local government.

“One of my commissioners of the Department of Public Works took it upon himself to go down to the committee and to put position on the record … that they support the burn ban and that we should simply chip and compost,” Mapp said. “I have suspended that assistant commissioner for two weeks without pay because members of the Cabinet, sub-members, members of the sub-Cabinet do not get to set public policy in the Virgin Islands. That is a discretion left to those who are elected and to those who are confirmed by the legislative vote to manage the affairs of government.”

Creque did respond to a request for comment and largely takes an adversarial position with the press. He makes $90,000 per year as a senior citizen in the Mapp Administration.

“And in my government, and in my administration, if I make a decision, a police decision, to go forward I cannot have members of the sub-Cabinet or the Cabinet going down and basically saying: ‘You know, I respect the old man, but we are right on this one, here is what you should do,'” the governor said.

Mapp said that Creque’s private opinion crossed the line when it was made public.

“I give my Cabinet members full and complete freedom in our discussions to disagree with me, to make their case, to question my proposed decisions,” the chief executive said. “The whole how we arrived at a final decision on managing the disaster, the debris, comes out of a robust conversation with four members of the governor’s Cabinet. We then can’t have employees deciding that there is a better policy that ought to be utilized.”

Creque told the Senate that he personally opposed incinerating tree and plant debris because of the potential for releasing dioxin and other health-threatening chemicals into the community.

“There’s too much shadow boxing taking place around here now, too much of it,” Creque said at the hearing last week. “I don’t believe the governor is getting the information straight up front. I don’t think so at all.”

STILL GRINNIN’: Because Assistant Public Works Commissioner Roan Creque is making $90,000 per year — and you are not!


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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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