Neither Government House nor Randolph "Randy" Knight responded Sunday night to inquires about reports that Knight has resigned as .Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s chief of staff.
One source reported Knight resigned, while another said Knight has penned a resignation letter due to differences over West Indian Co. Ltd. and V.I. Port Authority.
Meanwhile, the same sources verified both Beverly Ncholson-Doty and Roberto Cintron resigned from the WICO board two weeks ago.
Knight is a former V.I. radio station magnate who owned a number of stations, primarily on St. Thomas, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. He is also known for his philanthropy. In 2001, Knight put up $1 million toward the building of a sports and fitness complex at Antilles School. He also played a major role in promoting the Humane Society of St.Thomas.
In December 2014, shortly before taking office, Mapp appointed Knight to be his chief of staff. He is also Mapp’s appointee as head of the West Indian Co. Ltd. board. In those dual roles, Knight was involved with a controversial decision by WICO’s board to cover Mapp’s rent and expenses at Villa Fratelli Cresta, a brand new nine-bedroom villa on St. Thomas owed by Jimez Ashby, who also owns A-9 Trucking, the principal trucking contractor for the Waste Management Authority.
The lease was initially for $12,000 per month for two months, increasing to $14,500 for the next four months. WICO reversed the decision and canceled the agreement after its public disclosure drew controversy. WICO has fought to keep detailed minutes of the meeting at which the decision was made out of the public arena.
Knight testified to the Legislature in 2015 that he brought the lease to WICO for payment only after the Department of Property and Procurement had rejected it, in part over its calling for a $50,000 security deposit. (See Related Links below)