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‘Ceremonial’ Gov. Mapp Gladhands 14 Members of the 32nd Legislature Installed In St. Thomas; Rodriguez Absent

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — ‘Ceremonial’ Gov. Kenneth Mapp and Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter were present at Emancipation Garden today for the swearing in of the 32nd Legislature of the Virgin Islands.

A crowd gathered at the David Monsanto Bandstand for the morning ceremony which began just after 10 am with the Conch Shell Blowers followed by Master of Ceremony, Timothy Lake making introductions.

Posting of colors, the invocation, the National Anthem, Virgin Islands March and a musical selection all preceded the administration of the oath of office by the Honorable Rhys S. Hodge. Chief Justice Hodge called each newly elected senator by name as they affirmed their position for the 2017-2019 term.

“It is with great faith in the principles by which we are governed that I offer my congratulations to the newly elected and re-elected members of the Thirty-second Legislature of the Virgin Islands,” Mapp said. “As Governor, I look forward to exploiting every opportunity to advance our collective interests through cooperation among the branches of government, mutual respect for the roles assigned by our system of government, and candid public exchange. I pledge my cooperation in all efforts to promote progress and prosperity for all Virgin Islanders.”

Mapp said that he “wishes every member of the 32nd Legislature the warmest congratulations and all the best in your efforts to serve the people of the Virgin Islands.”

The President of the 31st Legislature, Sen. Neville James of St. Croix said that St. Thomas Senator-elect Kevin Rodriguez was not invited to the swearing-in ceremony because he “is currently embroiled in a legal issue,” according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.

Members of the 32nd Legislature

Senator Marvin A. Blyden

Senator Dwayne M. DeGraff

Senator Jean A. Forde

Senator Novelle E. Francis, Jr.

Senator Alicia “Chucky” Hansen

Senator Myron D. Jackson

Senator Neville A. James

Senator Positive T.A. Nelson

Senator Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly

Senator Tregenza A. Roach

Senator Sammuel Sanes

Senator At Large Brian A. Smith

Senator Kurt A. Vialet

Senator Janette Millin Young

MAPP’S HAND-PICKED RUBBER STAMPERS: A “new” rogues gallery of Senators afraid to stand up to Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp on any issue runs the gauntlet of the red carpet on Forte Strade in downtown Charlotte Amalie.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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