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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsVIDE Maintenance Director on Leave Without Pay

VIDE Maintenance Director on Leave Without Pay

Following the arrest of Education’s Director of Maintenance, Davidson Charlemagne, 50, and his wife, Sasha Charlemagne, 44, department officials said Sunday that he has currently been placed on leave without pay.

“The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) has been made aware of the recent indictment of Mr. Davidson Charlemagne,” Education officials said in a statement Friday.

“The VIDE is fully prepared to cooperate with this case that is being investigated by the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. The Department takes these allegations very seriously and remains committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability.

The VIDE takes a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and criminal offenses, the VIDE has placed Mr. Charlemagne on leave without pay.

At this time, the Virgin Islands Department of Education has no additional comments as the case is being investigated by multiple federal agencies. The Department appreciates the understanding and patience of the community as the investigation proceeds and remains dedicated to its mission of providing quality education to the students of the Virgin Islands,” according to the statement.

The arrests were announced by U.S. Attorney Delia L. Smith after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging the pair with government program fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy.

The indictment also charges former Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority Chief Operating Officer Darin Richardson, 56, of St. Thomas, with criminal conflict of interest and making materially false statements.

“As alleged, these defendants exploited hurricane recovery efforts in order to develop and carry out a $4 million scheme to defraud taxpayers,” said Smith in Thursday’s release. “The indictment levied against these individuals sends a clear message that the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners followed the money and will continue to hold public officials seeking to profit from natural disasters accountable for their crimes.”

According to court documents, the charges stem from a two-year investigation involving a VIHFA contract for storage and management of wood that was shipped to the territory to be used for the reconstruction of commercial and residential buildings following hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Read more about the background of the case and charges here.

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