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A flurry messages and calls have been coming in to The Consortium relative to an alleged rift between Governor Albert Bryan and his chief of staff, Karl Knight. According to at least one reliable source, the alleged disharmony was so intense that Mr. Knight had been sent home.
Nobody could say why, however. And when The Consortium reached out to Government House, Richard Motta, the administration’s communications director, said flatly that there was no such occurrence, and no sign of turbulence amongst the two. He also confirmed that Mr. Knight was on the job as of Monday.
Though he was not the campaign manager of Mr. Bryan during the 2018 election cycle (John Engerman held that role), Mr. Knight was a central part of the campaign, and was one of a number of players who helped propel Mr. Bryan to victory. He along with educator Karen Chancellor hosted a weekly talk show called Change Can’t Wait (it was held the night before the runoff election on The Consortium), praising Mr. Bryan while assailing the Mapp administration.
Governor Bryan and Mr. Knight are friends and go back a long way. They both served under the former Governor John P. de Jongh administration, Mr. Bryan as a Department of Labor commissioner and Mr. Knight at the Energy Office.
But in recent times, Mr. Bryan’s “Change Course Now” mantra has come under fire, with political observers stating that the campaign slogan has not translated into the administration, which has yet to name a number of department and agency heads. The Bryan camp, including his chief of staff, is under pressure to find leaders for the departments and agencies or risk being seen as not ready to lead the territory as they promised to so speedily do upon taking office.
Among departments and agencies that have yet to receive top leadership is the Department of Justice, which lacks an attorney general, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, which does not have a director. The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs is still without a commissioner, so too is the Department of Human Services. The Virgin Islands Police Department has yet to receive a commissioner, and Sports, Parks and Recreation is in the same dilemma.
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