Few details have been released about the abrupt firing of V.I. Housing Finance Authority Director Clifford Graham, but there has been some speculation about why it happened, and who might be taking his place.
Graham could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but VIHFA issued a release after the authority’s board made the decision last Friday to terminate Graham’s contract.
The termination was effective as of 5 p.m. Monday, and the VIHFA’s chief operating officer, has been appointed interim executive director until the position is filled.
Speaking Tuesday, VIHFA Board Chair Debra Gottlieb said the board cannot comment on personnel issues but did say the position would be advertised.
"We have a job description that we will be posting, and we will get to that as soon as is possible and practicable," she said.
One candidate that has been mentioned by some as next in line for the job, Frankie Hoheb, said Tuesday there is no truth to reports that he has already been tapped to fill the position, but added when asked if he would be submitting his resume, that he was "pondering his options."
"The position will be put out for public notice, so anyone who has an interest can apply," Hoheb, chief of staff to Sen. Celestino A. White Sr., said Tuesday.
Sen. Louis P. Hill, meanwhile, sent out a release Tuesday night decrying the actions of the board to terminate Graham and asking that board members make public the reasons for their decision.
"I am clearly disturbed that the board has terminated Clifford Graham for reasons that have nothing to do with his competence, performance, or his absolute dedication to the people of the Virgin Islands for nearly 18 years, addressing the chronic housing shortages in this territory," Hill said in the release. "I am convinced he is the best person for the job…and I hope the board can produce a paper trail of cause to justify its action."