Oct. 6, 2006 – Longtime Government House Deputy Chief of Staff Alric Simmonds retired suddenly on Thursday, ending almost eight years of service to the governor's office. Neither Simmonds nor Government House spokesman James O'Bryan would comment on the reasons for the sudden retirement, which took effect Friday.
A terse four-sentence statement from Government House sent Thursday evening said that Simmonds had notified Gov. Charles W. Turnbull of his retirement from government service effective Friday.
While no one is speaking publicly about what triggered Simmonds' retirement, sources have told Radio One that Simmonds was forced to resign due to reports that an investigation is under way by both the V.I. Justice Department and the Inspector General's office into questionable transactions on an imprest, or loan, fund that Simmonds oversaw.
Neither Justice Department officials nor Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt would confirm reports that an investigation was ongoing.
In addition to his duties as deputy chief of staff, the 61-year-old Simmonds also served two terms on the Public Services Commission, the last year as the chairman. The Legislature fought his renomination to the commission last year citing conflict of interest due to his position with Turnbull. After two acrimonious hearings, Simmonds asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration.
Turnbull thanked Simmonds for his service, the statement said. And Simmonds in turn thanked Turnbull, saying, "It has been an extreme pleasure serving under your administration. The knowledge and experience I have gained can never be duplicated."
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