Opposition Member in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Carvin Malone (AL) says he intends to write the Attorney General, Hon Dawn J. Smith, to produce the report that should have been created by Withers law firm in response to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report by Commissioner Gary R. Hickinbottom.
"I am going to write to the Attorney General’s Chambers, as opposed to writing to Withers for the report, because Withers was engaged to assist the Attorney General to create the minority report," he said during the July 26, 2022, edition of the Honestly Speaking show.
Hon Malone, while asking questions in the July 21, 2022, House of Assembly (HoA) sitting, had asked whether a parallel report had been created.
However, Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) responded that a parallel report was not stated in the Terms of Reference of the legal representation by Withers; however, a response to the CoI report could be prepared by the law firm.
“So I’m going to write to the Attorney General and tell them well look, we want the report and we want to make sure that these folks were able to assist you in creating the particular report,” Hon Malone said on Honestly Speaking.
VI defended well in CoI - Hon Malone
“You have defended us well, we want to know some of these areas that you have concerns about, tell us about it,” he added.
While the report will cost some $1M for the law firm to produce, Hon Malone hinted that it could reveal findings that would bring more insight to the people of the territory.
The Opposition Member said that in calling for the report he has not consulted with other Members of the House of Assembly on purpose since he wanted a bottom-up decision policy where the public is put first as opposed to a top-down decision-making.
“I want the flames come from the bottom, so by the time it reaches up there… we will not have a spark.. [but] we will have the decision, we will force the decision,” he added.
The controversial CoI Report by lone Commissioner Hickinbottom had said the VI was incapable of fixing its own problems and recommended direct rule by the United Kingdom.