GERS Chief Preparing $7.7 Million Lawsuit Against WAPA For Payment Failures

CHARLOTTE AMALIE The Government Employees Retirement System of the Virgin Islands is preparing a lawsuit against the financially-strapped Water and Power Authority for about $7.7 million in past due money.

At issue are past due employees’ and employer’s contributions and employees’ loans as well interest on these sums. WAPA has failed to forward the employee and employer contributions since June 24, according to GERS Administrator Austin Nibbs.

Nibbs told The Bond Buyer on Monday that GERS is preparing to file a lawsuit in the Superior Court in the Virgin Islands.

The GERS head honcho said WAPA owed GERS $2.4 million in employee contributions and $188,000 in interest on this, $4.5 million in employer contributions and $347,000 in interest on this, and $311,000 in employee loan deductions and $8,000 in interest on this.

The GERS board voted Friday to authorize the administrator “to file legal action to collect the outstanding amounts that are owed to the GERS that have been past due since June 24, 2021,” Nibbs added.

GERS had previously raised the issue with new WAPA CEO Andrew Smith, who responded in a letter on March 29, proposing a 36-week payment plan because WAPA doesn’t have the cash to make the full payments.