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Ottley Leaving Senate for Government Job in Washington

Aug. 22, 2008 — Sen. Basil Ottley Jr. is moving to the federal government, taking a position with the Department of Interior's Office of Insular Affairs as the primary policy analyst for the Virgin Islands.
"This was such a unique and important opportunity for the Virgin Islands that I could not turn the position down," Ottley said Friday afternoon. "This is the first time a Virgin Islander will hold a position like this. Having someone inside will benefit the territory for years to come."
As policy analyst, Ottley will review programs, analyze policy and coordinate special projects for economic development throughout the insular territories. According to the federal job description, it also entails analyzing and making recommendations on political relationships between the federal government and the insular areas and freely associated states. The published salary range for the position is $70,000 to $108,000, a range similar to the V.I. Legislator's salary of $85,000.
The job is based in Washington, D.C., but will involve travel to and from the territory.
"This has been in the works for a little while," Ottley said. "But there was a delay while I underwent the required background check. And by protocol, I couldn't make any announcement until the Interior secretary announced first."
Ottley looks forward to putting a V.I. voice into the federal government's policies toward the territory.
"I will be directly charged with overseeing critical federal issues that affect the U.S. Virgin Islands," Ottley said in a statement released by his office Friday morning. "My daily activities will include developing and analyzing policy in regards to economic development [and] political status, and thus I will be in the auspicious position to make recommendations to the federal government."
Ottley turned in his resignation to Senate President Usie Richards Friday and will leave the Senate Sept. 26.
"While this decision was heart-wrenching, I truly believe I can best serve the Virgin Islands in this upcoming role," Ottley said.
Under V.I. code, the president of the Legislature will appoint a replacement chosen by the territorial committee of the senator's party; in this case, the Democratic Party. Had Ottley not been a member of a party, the Legislature would have selected someone from the St. Thomas-St. John district. Had he resigned more than a year before the election, there would have been a special election.
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