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COMMISSIONERS RESPOND TO REPORTS OF NEW HIRES

Two of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's commissioners Monday defended recent hires in their departments after the V.I. Daily News published a list of employees hired since Jan. 15.
The names and salaries of the new hires were released by three agencies in compliance with a federal court order, according to the Daily News.
Andrew Rutnik, commissioner of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, said in a release that "all employees hired by DLCA are a result of filling positions left vacant as a direct result of resignations."
Four new employees were reported in Rutnik's department –- including Rutnik himself, replacing former Commissioner Osbert Potter, who resigned Dec. 31. The other three, according to Rutnik, replaced others who had left the department.
Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr. also reacted to the article. A press release from Government House quoted him as saying the funded positions were sorely needed, and adjustments and consolidations were made to alter the positions to be more effective and necessary to the department.
There were two people hired by Public Works, according to the Daily News list.
There was no official response from the Lieutenant Governor's Office, which has reportedly hired 13 new employees since the inauguration.
The court order stemmed from a suit brought against the Turnbull administration by former employees of the Gov. Roy L. Schneider administration, who allege they were fired or not given a job by Turnbull because they supported Schneider.
The plaintiffs will use the information to try to prove they were not fired as a result of the government's fiscal crisis.

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Two of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's commissioners Monday defended recent hires in their departments after the V.I. Daily News published a list of employees hired since Jan. 15.
The names and salaries of the new hires were released by three agencies in compliance with a federal court order, according to the Daily News.
Andrew Rutnik, commissioner of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, said in a release that "all employees hired by DLCA are a result of filling positions left vacant as a direct result of resignations."
Four new employees were reported in Rutnik's department –- including Rutnik himself, replacing former Commissioner Osbert Potter, who resigned Dec. 31. The other three, according to Rutnik, replaced others who had left the department.
Public Works Commissioner Harold Thompson Jr. also reacted to the article. A press release from Government House quoted him as saying the funded positions were sorely needed, and adjustments and consolidations were made to alter the positions to be more effective and necessary to the department.
There were two people hired by Public Works, according to the Daily News list.
There was no official response from the Lieutenant Governor's Office, which has reportedly hired 13 new employees since the inauguration.
The court order stemmed from a suit brought against the Turnbull administration by former employees of the Gov. Roy L. Schneider administration, who allege they were fired or not given a job by Turnbull because they supported Schneider.
The plaintiffs will use the information to try to prove they were not fired as a result of the government's fiscal crisis.