In a press release issued Monday from Innovative Communication Corp., former senator Holland Redfield II, now ICC vice president for corporate affairs, said he was disgusted and outraged by two articles Saturday in the St. Croix Avis about a lawsuit filed against the company.
The articles also appeared in the Saturday V.I. Independent, the St. Thomas sister paper to the Avis, and were quoted from that paper by the Source. They reported on a lawsuit filed by former ICC employee Andre Hector which alleged, among other things, that he had been forced to make false statements about a 1998 Emancipation Day melee in order to keep his job.
In the Monday response, Redfield said "a pattern of unfounded allegations" directed at ICC owner Jeffrey Prosser and his companies "has become all too common. . . Character assassination has become the order of the day."
Redfield said the "level of these charges and attacks that Mr. Prosser has had to endure has become truly painful for him" and his family.
The release, headed "Press release on rebuttal of lawsuit filed against ICC," went on to say that Prosser was "not alone in having to defend himself from personal attacks. It has become fashionable to use this medium to destroy people's lives and reputations in the Virgin Islands. Similarly situated individuals and corporations have been subjected to these same types of recriminations." The release did not cite any specific persons or entities as examples.
"The Virgin Islands has become a breeding ground for frivolous lawsuits that are being used for the purpose of character assassination," Redfield said. "ICC looks forward to its day in court regarding all of these charges and expects due process and diligence from the court."
Redfield suggested the attacks are due to the envy of anyone in the Virgin Islands who is successful.
On Feb. 1, Prosser made the front page of The Wall Street Journal in a less-than-complimentary expose on how he came to the Virgin Islands in the 1980s with nothing and now owns the telephone company, both local cable television companies, the widest-circulated daily newspaper in the islands and a bank. The article quoted Prosser as calling the Virgin Islands "a soap opera society," adding, "There's a massive amount of envy."
The lawsuit that was the subject of the Avis/Independent articles also alleges that Prosser used government equipment and personnel for security at a private party on New Year's Eve. It also contends that Prosser's ICC hired Sen. Adelbert M. Bryan's daughter as a $65,000-a-year security guard while the Senate was considering the so-called Prosser Bill, which Bryan voted for.
Editor's note: For details of the St. Croix Avis/V.I. Independent articles, see story below titled "Fired ICC employee alleges wrongdoing." To read the entire text of the report in The Wall Street Journal, click here.