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NIBBS NO SHOW, BUT SHOW GOES ON

May 21, 2001 – At 6 p.m. Monday, the hour Sen. Celestino A. White had scheduled former V.I. Housing Authority executive director Alphonse Nibbs to appear before the Senate Committee on Housing, Parks and Recreation, White stopped the proceedings and made a show of reading letters pertinent to Nibbs' appearance and taking testimony from legislative employees involved in serving a subpoena on Nibbs.
All this despite Nibbs having said he would not appear Monday due to a previously scheduled legal matter in Louisiana.
Neither White nor Sen. Lorraine Berry, who had petitioned White to call Nibbs before the committee to answer questions about his allegations of corruption in the V.I. Housing Authority, the Housing Finance Authority and the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department, could say they had seen a subpoena from the other jurisdiction. However, White read a letter into the record from Nibbs' stateside attorney saying Nibbs was required to appear in Louisiana.
The scene Monday night stemmed from a report in The Avis two weeks ago that Nibbs had verbally accused the three housing agencies of wrongdoing. Following the federal indictment April 30 of a former housing contractor, Lucinda Oliver, the newspaper reported that Nibbs said more federal indictments of housing officials were likely this month. (See earlier stories, "Senators spar over what Nibbs knows" and "Nibbs subpoenaed to testify on housing issues." )
The ongoing battle between White and Berry has been fueled in recent weeks by the Nibbs allegations — White appeared to ignore them and Berry accused White of sweeping the charges of wrongdoing under the rug.
White took up much of the later evening reading into the record all the correspondence between himself and Berry except her "last letter" to him. Berry took her 10 minutes reading that letter into the record as Claude L. Richards Jr., executive director of the HFA, Ira Hobson, commissioner of Housing, Parks and Recreation, and Conrad Francois II, VIHA executive director, sat at the witness table.
Later Sen. Emmett Hansen II took his time before the committee to lambaste his colleagues for turning the Legislature into a "colosseum," saying, "The public has begun to like the taste of blood in their mouth and we feed them."
"All the things we do to each other and then laugh about it, it's not cute," Hansen added. "It's disgusting."
He apologized to the three housing officials, as did several other senators, for what they had been put through, both by Nibbs' allegations and by the behavior of the senators. However, it is likely they will get a call back. White has scheduled the next Housing Committee meeting for June 11 and has called Nibbs, Clarice Blake, who recently filed a suit against Housing, and Dodson James to appear.
Berry suggested the three Housing officials return too. "If someone is accusing you of something, you should be there to defend yourself," she told them.

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May 21, 2001 – At 6 p.m. Monday, the hour Sen. Celestino A. White had scheduled former V.I. Housing Authority executive director Alphonse Nibbs to appear before the Senate Committee on Housing, Parks and Recreation, White stopped the proceedings and made a show of reading letters pertinent to Nibbs' appearance and taking testimony from legislative employees involved in serving a subpoena on Nibbs.
All this despite Nibbs having said he would not appear Monday due to a previously scheduled legal matter in Louisiana.
Neither White nor Sen. Lorraine Berry, who had petitioned White to call Nibbs before the committee to answer questions about his allegations of corruption in the V.I. Housing Authority, the Housing Finance Authority and the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department, could say they had seen a subpoena from the other jurisdiction. However, White read a letter into the record from Nibbs' stateside attorney saying Nibbs was required to appear in Louisiana.
The scene Monday night stemmed from a report in The Avis two weeks ago that Nibbs had verbally accused the three housing agencies of wrongdoing. Following the federal indictment April 30 of a former housing contractor, Lucinda Oliver, the newspaper reported that Nibbs said more federal indictments of housing officials were likely this month. (See earlier stories, "Senators spar over what Nibbs knows" and "Nibbs subpoenaed to testify on housing issues." )
The ongoing battle between White and Berry has been fueled in recent weeks by the Nibbs allegations -- White appeared to ignore them and Berry accused White of sweeping the charges of wrongdoing under the rug.
White took up much of the later evening reading into the record all the correspondence between himself and Berry except her "last letter" to him. Berry took her 10 minutes reading that letter into the record as Claude L. Richards Jr., executive director of the HFA, Ira Hobson, commissioner of Housing, Parks and Recreation, and Conrad Francois II, VIHA executive director, sat at the witness table.
Later Sen. Emmett Hansen II took his time before the committee to lambaste his colleagues for turning the Legislature into a "colosseum," saying, "The public has begun to like the taste of blood in their mouth and we feed them."
"All the things we do to each other and then laugh about it, it's not cute," Hansen added. "It's disgusting."
He apologized to the three housing officials, as did several other senators, for what they had been put through, both by Nibbs' allegations and by the behavior of the senators. However, it is likely they will get a call back. White has scheduled the next Housing Committee meeting for June 11 and has called Nibbs, Clarice Blake, who recently filed a suit against Housing, and Dodson James to appear.
Berry suggested the three Housing officials return too. "If someone is accusing you of something, you should be there to defend yourself," she told them.