CNW- As criminal investigations into the British Virgin Islands government department and agencies continue, newly installed Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley says that the Permanent Secretary in his office, Carolyn O’Neal Morton has been placed on leave.
The investigations are being conducted by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
The probe is underway following a recent announcement by Governor John Rankin who said that he instructed the Commissioner of Police Mark Collins to undertake several criminal investigations into government departments and agencies as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry report.
Premier Andrew Fahie as well as the managing director of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Ports Authority (BVIPA), Mrs. Oleanvine Pickering-Maynard, and her son Kadeem Maynard, were detained by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials in the United States and charged with conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering.
One such investigation is into the conduct of the Premier’s Office, under former Premier Andrew Fahie, in obstructing the Director of the Internal Audit Department in respect of her audit of the COVID-19 Assistance Programs.
Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, Wheatley said the permanent secretary is on leave, but he did not go into details
“It is not my area of responsibility as Premier so you would have to direct that to the Deputy Governor, and I would prefer for him to answer,” Wheatley said.
“The deputy governor told me that she was on leave while those investigations take place,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Premier gave an update regarding the rogue officer who circulated a letter from the Premier’s Office indicating support for former Premier Fahie’s application for diplomatic immunity in the United States Federal Court.
He noted the officer has been found and investigations are ongoing.
“The Deputy Governor would be the best person to give an update on that but as I have been told, that officer has been on leave from the Premier’s Office while the investigation ensues,” Wheatley said.