Senate President Calls Blyden Covid Scandal 'Egregious,' Convenes Ethics Committee, Files Complaint

Government Published On September 20, 2021 06:34 PM
Ernice Gilbert | September 20, 2021 06:34:32 PM

Senator Marvin Blyden during a July 8, 2021 Senate hearing. By V.I. LEGISLATURE

Senator Marvin Blyden may be stripped of his Majority Leader position in the Senate, following Mr. Blyden's flouting of the V.I. Dept. of Health's Covid-19 protocols after he admitted to testing positive twice the same day for Covid-19 and attending a party two days later.

The Office of the Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory announced Monday evening that as a result of the situation surrounding Mr. Blyden, a meeting was held with Senate Vice President, Novelle Francis and Senate Secretary Genevieve Whitaker. "It has been determined that the matter warrants the establishment of a Committee on Ethical Conduct pursuant to the rules of the 34th Legislature," reads the release. "Further, the leadership have filed a formal complaint to the Committee on Ethical Conduct. The Committee on Ethical Conduct will be responsible for investigating the allegations and making a final determination on this matter. The committee will convene by the end of this week."

It is important to note that the leadership of the 34th Legislature instituted Covid-19 protocols to protect senators, employees and the public from the spread of the coronavirus, stated the release. “This matter is extremely serious in nature, and we have to ensure the public that we take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. We cannot hold Senators to different standards, if anything, Senators must be held to a higher standard, as we represent the people of the territory,” said Ms. Frett-Gregory.

In an interview with the Consortium, the Senate president called the matter egregious and said she expects the committee to move swiftly. "I have asked the committee to convene by the end of this week to conduct the investigatory work. Once they have conducted their investigatory work and they send their report up to the Senate president and the entire body, we will move forward with the next steps," she said.

"We cannot take this matter lightly because based on the information that has been shared with us, this matter is very egregious in nature," she added.

Mr. Blyden also used the government's Legislature-owned vehicle, LEG 5, to attend the Saturday night event at Tillet Gardens in St. Thomas.




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