Former Magens Bay Authority GM Hubert Brumant suing agency

Former Magens Bay Authority GM Hubert Brumant suing agency

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The long-time general manager of the Magens Bay Authority, Hubert Brumant, is suing for wrongful termination, according to Virgin Islands Superior Court records.

Brumant became general manager in 2007, and served for 16 years until he was terminated in March 2023, according to the lawsuit filed on February 13 by attorney Lee Rohn, who is representing Brumant.

The 13-page complaint includes a list of alleged incidents and disputes between Brumant and Magens Bay Authority board members, including Chairwoman Barbara Petersen and Secretary Jason Charles, who are also named as defendants in Brumant’s lawsuit.

Charles could not be reached for comment, and Petersen declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Attorney Marie Thomas Griffith filed an answer to the complaint on March 21 on behalf of the defendants, denying all of Brumant’s allegations and asserting affirmative defenses.

Brumant’s complaint alleges that he “was consistently praised for his work and how he carried out his duties until Defendant Petersen became Chairperson on November 19, 2021,” and she and others didn’t want him to remain general manager because he “was ‘no nonsense,’ and would not allow any deviation from the procedures and rules.”

Brumant is also claiming Charles “was antagonistic” and he and board member Cecile Galiber- De Jongh made improper requests.

Former Magens Bay Authority GM Hubert Brumant suing agency

Former USVI First Lady Cecile Galiber de Jongh

For example, Charles was involved in the King of the Wing event, which “attempted not to pay the full rental fee because Mr. Charles was a board member,” and Charles “was very angry” when Brumant notified other board members of the situation, according to Brumant’s complaint.

The complaint also includes an allegation that deJongh, who served as sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s St. Thomas office manager until Epstein’s suicide in 2019, learned the Authority needed a golf cart. She told Brumant “that Epstein had some used golf carts, and that Plaintiff should purchase one from Epstein,” according to Brumant’s complaint.

Ever since Brumant declined to purchase the “deteriorated” golf carts, deJongh “has claimed and stated that Plaintiff is not a good businessperson,” and the finance committee moved to disqualify Brumant by changing the qualifications for his position, according to the complaint.

Brumant is also claiming the defendants “made up false reasons” for his termination to block him from receiving unemployment benefits.

Separate from the lawsuit against the Magens Bay Authority, Brumant is also petitioning the court to review the Labor Department’s denial of his unemployment benefits. The department and administrative law judge “improperly” found that Brumant employed an undocumented worker, according to the petition filed on June 28.

According to the answer to Brumant’s complaint filed by the Magens Bay Authority, Brumant “has unclean hands,” was an at will employee who was terminated for “malfeasance,” and he “engaged in unlawful conduct which undermined the integrity of the position he held as the General Manager and placed Defendant MBA in a position of detriment.”

The Authority is a semi-autonomous agency that oversees Magens Bay Park, Smith Bay Park, and the 319-acre Magens Bay Watershed, and the seven board members serve without compensation.

Petersen said Saturday that the Authority is “very transparent,” and all board meetings are public.

The board meets on the third Friday of the month, but will not be meeting in April because of Carnival, and meeting announcements are shared with the public via Facebook, according to interim General Manager MemorieAnne Brown Callender.