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HomeNewsArchivesATTORNEY GIVES ULTIMATUM ON WAPA SALE

ATTORNEY GIVES ULTIMATUM ON WAPA SALE

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 or St. Croix attorney Lee Rohn will take it to court.
Rohn, who is representing St. Croix community activist Gail Watson Chiang, wrote to the administration, including Attorney General Iver Stridiron, on Jan. 5, warning that its negotiations with Southern Energy Inc. violate competitive bidding laws. Rohn said the V.I. Code mandates that before a public asset is sold or a government contract let, a competitive bidding process must take place.
So far Southern Energy is the only company the government has been in negotiations 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 the administration had not replied to her letter. "If I don’t hear from the governor by Jan. 28, I will file a suit."
Attorney General Stridiron said he had assigned the Department of Justice’s solicitor general to study the matter in case the governor asks him to look into Rohn’s allegations. Turnbull has not done so as yet, he said.
Stridiron made clear 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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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 or St. Croix attorney Lee Rohn will take it to court.
Rohn, who is representing St. Croix community activist Gail Watson Chiang, wrote to the administration, including Attorney General Iver Stridiron, on Jan. 5, warning that its negotiations with Southern Energy Inc. violate competitive bidding laws. Rohn said the V.I. Code mandates that before a public asset is sold or a government contract let, a competitive bidding process must take place.
So far Southern Energy is the only company the government has been in negotiations 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 the administration had not replied to her letter. "If I don’t hear from the governor by Jan. 28, I will file a suit."
Attorney General Stridiron said he had assigned the Department of Justice’s solicitor general to study the matter in case the governor asks him to look into Rohn’s allegations. Turnbull has not done so as yet, he said.
Stridiron made clear 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.