Home News Local news ATTORNEY GIVES ULTIMATUM ON WAPA SALE

ATTORNEY GIVES ULTIMATUM ON WAPA SALE

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The Turnbull administration has a week to respond to claims that it is violating the territory’s competitive bidding laws in its negotiations to sell the V.I. Water and Power Authority. Otherwise St. Croix attorney Lee Rohn will take it to court.
Rohn, who is representing St. Croix community activist Gail Watson Chiang, wrote to the Turnbull administration, including Attorney General Iver Stridiron, on Jan. 5 warning that its negotiations with Southern Energy Inc. violate local competitive bidding laws. Rohn said the V.I. Code mandates that before a public asset is sold or a government contract is let, competitive bidding must take place.
So far Southern Energy is the only company the government has negotiated with in regard to selling WAPA. Reports are that the company would pay approximately $100 million for 80 percent of the utility.
"The law doesn’t allow them to have an exclusivity agreement," Rohn said, adding that as of Friday she hadn’t received a response to her letter from Gov. Charles Turnbull. "If I don’t hear from the governor by Jan. 28, I will file a suit."
Stridiron said that although he hasn’t received a request from Turnbull to look into Rohn’s allegations, he has assigned the Justice Department’s solicitor general to study the matter in case the governor does.
Stridiron added that his office will only respond to the allegations if the governor asks it to.
"At this juncture, I can’t tell you if what Lee Rohn is saying has any basis in the law or fact," Stridiron said.

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