July 29, 2021

USVI governor denounces report in local media of private jet use

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kenneth_mappFrom Caribbean News Now

ST THOMAS, USVI — US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp has responded to a story in local media claiming that he has racked up $87,000 so far in private jet service. The St Croix Avis on Thursday alleged that Mapp began charging private jet flights to the USVI government as of December 31, 2014, or five days before he was sworn into office.

“The Avis article is simply contrived and published so, with the full knowledge of its owner and editor,” Mapp stated. “While the article is sprinkled with some truth, the article is made up with more falsehoods and misstatements than facts.”

According to a Government House statement, for the fiscal year of 2015 — October 1, 2014, through September 10, 2015 — the total obligation for air charter services by the Office of the Governor is $46,500. This amount also includes payment for charter services incurred by the previous administration as well. In addition, charter services provided to the Governor’s Office are provided on a twin propeller King Beech 8 passenger aircraft.

The Avis pictured a luxury jet on its front page and noted that this aircraft is one of the jets Mapp uses as part of his private jet service paid for by taxpayers’ money.

“I have never seen this aircraft much less ridden in it,” Mapp said.

“In addition, the Avis article noted payments for charter services provided to me and paid for by the Mapp-Potter campaign, but stated that I charged charters to the government before being sworn to office. I had no authority to obligate any funds of the government of the Virgin Islands prior to 12 noon on January 5, 2015, and I did not obligate any. For the record, between October 2014 and January 5, 2015, the Mapp-Potter campaign as well as the transition and the inaugural committees chartered and paid from their funds air services of Bohlke International Airways,” Mapp said.

“It is public knowledge that governors have always used charter air service between the islands as regularly scheduled airline flights are often changed, delayed or cancelled. I use the charter services for reliable transportation when required for me and members of my cabinet to conduct the business of the government. Certainly, I live on St Croix so my need for air transportation between the islands is greater than the past four governors,” he added.

“Passengers using our airports and seaplane service can attest that I also use scheduled sea and air transportation services provided by inter island airlines,” the governor concluded.

IMAGE: Governor Kenneth Mapp

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-USVI-governor-denounces-report-in-local-media-of-private-jet-use-27567.html

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