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HomeNewsArchivesFEW DETAILS ON HEALTH COMMISSIONER FIRING

FEW DETAILS ON HEALTH COMMISSIONER FIRING

Details are scarce regarding Gov. Charles Turnbull’s firing Monday of Health Commissioner Dr. Wilbur Callender.
Callender didn’t return messages Tuesday and Government House spokeswoman Rina McBrowne said she couldn’t give any more detail other than what was said in a press release Monday.
The official line is that during a meeting, Callender "became insubordinate" and after "repeated warnings" was fired by Turnbull after his "conduct did not improve." Exactly what the two disagreed about wasn’t revealed in the release.
McBrowne said she couldn’t comment because "I wouldn’t know what they were discussing in detail." However, she defined insubordination as being "disrespectful and rude."
"And that’s as far as I’m going to go," she said.
Health Department spokesman Lee Vanterpool was off-island and couldn’t be reached to comment.
Senate Health Committee Chairman Allie-Allison Petrus said he too was having trouble finding out exactly what prompted the firing.
"It’s one of those things that’s hard to comment on," he said. "Most people are being tight-lipped now."
Petrus said he and Callender had been working on several issues before the firing, including legislation to funnel tobacco settlement money into health rather than to pay government workers.
"That was one of our priorities," Petrus said, adding that he didn't know what effect the firing would have on the efforts.
Deputy Commissioner Dr. Lucien Moolenaar will serve as acting commissioner until further notice, according to Government House.
Other issues Petrus and Callender had been working on included plans for the East End Mental Health Facility on St. Thomas and changing the reimbursement fee structure paid by the government’s health insurance provider.

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Details are scarce regarding Gov. Charles Turnbull’s firing Monday of Health Commissioner Dr. Wilbur Callender.
Callender didn’t return messages Tuesday and Government House spokeswoman Rina McBrowne said she couldn’t give any more detail other than what was said in a press release Monday.
The official line is that during a meeting, Callender "became insubordinate" and after "repeated warnings" was fired by Turnbull after his "conduct did not improve." Exactly what the two disagreed about wasn’t revealed in the release.
McBrowne said she couldn’t comment because "I wouldn’t know what they were discussing in detail." However, she defined insubordination as being "disrespectful and rude."
"And that’s as far as I’m going to go," she said.
Health Department spokesman Lee Vanterpool was off-island and couldn’t be reached to comment.
Senate Health Committee Chairman Allie-Allison Petrus said he too was having trouble finding out exactly what prompted the firing.
"It’s one of those things that’s hard to comment on," he said. "Most people are being tight-lipped now."
Petrus said he and Callender had been working on several issues before the firing, including legislation to funnel tobacco settlement money into health rather than to pay government workers.
"That was one of our priorities," Petrus said, adding that he didn't know what effect the firing would have on the efforts.
Deputy Commissioner Dr. Lucien Moolenaar will serve as acting commissioner until further notice, according to Government House.
Other issues Petrus and Callender had been working on included plans for the East End Mental Health Facility on St. Thomas and changing the reimbursement fee structure paid by the government’s health insurance provider.