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Selection of Third-Party Fiduciary Could Become Political Issue

Aug. 1, 2006 – While a group of V.I. government officials are scheduled to meet later this week with members of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., about matters relating to the third-party fiduciary arrangement for the V.I. Department of Education, back at home rumors are flying that the contract has already been awarded to the firm of a candidate on one of the gubernatorial tickets.
In a recent press release sent from Government House, Office of Management and Budget Director Ira Mills said a contract has yet to be awarded to one of the four potential companies selected to provide third-party fiduciary services. Mills said that negotiations are currently ongoing with one company, whose name will not be released until after negotiations are complete.
However, rumors circulating over the past two days indicate that the contract has already been awarded to the firm of Roy Jackson, who is Vargrave Richards' running mate for lieutenant governor. Sources said that Jackson and Winston Adams, in a joint venture, submitted a bid for the project.
Jackson is the only certified public accountant running for office.
Sen. Lorraine L. Berry, a candidate for lieutenant governor on retired Judge Edgar Ross' ticket, addressed the rumors over the radio Monday and called for the Third-Party Fiduciary Evaluation Committee to release the names of the four companies selected as possible candidates for the project.
When contacted Tuesday, Berry said, "I'm shocked to learn of reports which say that a third-party fiduciary has been selected and is being held in a shroud of secrecy until after the September primary due to the fact that a potential gubernatorial candidate could be affected."
"To dispel these rumors of a potential conflict of interest, the names of all the companies involved in the process should be released," she added.
When contacted Tuesday afternoon, Jackson said the rumors are "completely untrue." He also said he would be issuing a written statement addressing the matter.
As of publication time, the Source had not received the statement.

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