As a young person growing up in the Virgin Islands, I used to spend countless hours chatting under the mango tree with my grandmother. She had tons of old-time saying that stuck with me. One that comes to mind is “time is longer than twine”. When Granny died, Aunt Lucille picked up where she left off with the old time sayings. One of her favorites has become my favorites “Night does run until day catch it”. Initially I did not know or completely understand what these saying meant, but when former Senator Wayne James was arrested in Italy last month on charges that he squander off the territory’s money claiming fraudulent projects, I thought of Aunt Lucille and my dear grandmother Greta. According to a federal indictment, while serving as a senator between 2009 and 2011 the fashion model, historian and designer turn senator was the chair of the Senate Committee on Youth, Education and Culture. Well, school children alerted the feds to suspicions that Casanova had allegedly obtained tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for the purpose of acquiring and translating historical documents related to the “Fireburn,” an 1878 uprising by freed slaves in St. Croix. Now, we all know that the good senator has always been fascinated with things of historic value, but to turn in false documents to the Legislature and received cash advances saying that you were going to conduct historical research on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands and then not do it is just down right low. He take the people’s money, according to the court and embezzled the cash advances for his own personal benefit instead of using them for the intended purposes. I see the arrest and prosecution of Mr. James as a step in the right direction as far as political and government corruption goes. The big questions are though, How would this first-time senator feel so comfortable taking up the people money after just a few short months? Who he see doing it first? You would think that he had seen some of his senior colleagues doing similar juggling or heard the decades old stories of how to get away with taking out the butter cookies without getting caught. I guess the trick is to not leave any crumbs behind and in this case, when I say crumbs, Mr. James promised to produce documentations that he clearly could not without using the money in the right way.  I think I feel bad for Mr. James, (well, not really) but he clearly isn’t cut out for prison. He is such a gentleman and someone who could have really contributed to our community, especially during this pistarkle of a celebration to observe the centennial anniversary of the territory’s sale from Denmark to the United States coming up in just a few short months.   I’ve heard, however, that he is working on a new prison uniform to add to his fashion line and it will be to die for. The clothing line “Manly Manners” same name as his book; will feature summer casuals for Caribbean inmates all year round and will come complete with hidden compartments for the Golden Grove inmates to hide their shanks, lighters and other contraband. There will be an insulated compartment for ice and shot glasses for a perfect libation every time. It’s not on the market as yet, because due to the demand, he needs much more material as I’ve heard that the new line will also include a government officials special which will also be made out of order-to-match snake skin leather and will come complete with extra long pockets so that embezzling and shoveling funds into their pockets can go undetected, at least until they can transfer them to hidden compartments in the floors of their homes. He’s going to be there for a pretty long time, just awaiting trial in the matter. Prosecutors were granted their motion to have him held without bail while the case is pending, primarily because he has not even a pot to piss in in the territory and because they already had to go half way around the world to drag him back here, kicking and screaming.  As he tried to convince the court that he was not a flight risk his brother – Public Works Commissioner Slim – testified on his behalf, although he admitted that they had not been really tight in recent years. Now, I commend Commissioner Slim, for stepping up to defend his brother, because from where I sit, he isn’t looking that good in the court of public opinion his damn self. I am almost positive that he is being watched closely with his history of financial issues including forclosures and outstanding debt. He is also already mounting reimbursements without accompanying receipts and other documents, perhaps a course in keeping your hands off people things or don’t do everything you see the other senator or commissioner do, should be taught, but until then, we will see how this case plays out and wait for Wayne James to put his talents to work and start signing like a canary. D

 

Source:: Sandy Bottoms