Sept. 28, 2001 — Due to safety concerns, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor will be moved out of the newly renovated Government House on St. Croix.
The move, announced Thursday, was prompted by the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., that killed more than 7,000 people. According to a release from Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, whose St. Croix office and residence are in Government House along with the office of Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II, the move was recommended by national and local security experts.
"It is standard security practice for a chief executive and the next in the chain of command to avoid traveling together on the same airplane, boat or other carrier or occupying the same working environment for long periods of time," the release said.
Therefore, the lieutenant governor's administrative offices on St. Croix will soon be moved from Government House to an as-yet unidentified building.
"Nowhere in our country do you find two leaders housed in the same building," Police Commissioner Franz Christian said Thursday.
Turnbull decided, against Christian's advice, to put both offices in the St. Croix Government House while it was undergoing a lengthy $12 million renovation. The decision was made largely to cut government spending and rental costs.
Before the renovation, the two offices were housed in separate buildings on St. Croix as they are on St. Thomas.
The governors official residence on St. Thomas is the historic Catherineberg on Denmark Hill. When the governor is on St. Croix, he lives in Government House.
On St. Croix, the lieutenant governor lives at the executive mansion at Estate Sion Farm, where James will continue to live.
Turnbull and James have had some public spats since the administration began in 1998. They disagreed on the Beal Aerospace deal and the proposal to sell a portion of the Water and Power Authority to a mainland company.
But Attorney General Iver Stridiron said Thursday that he hopes people wont interpret the decision to move James out of Government House as evidence of "an acrimonious relationship."
Prior to the reopening of Government House in June 2000, Turnbull said he planned to spend up to three days in a row on St. Croix. The renovated Government House has a conference room able to accommodate 26 people that can be used for Cabinet meetings.