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Sun Mar 21, 2021, 07:51 AM

Daughter of VI Attorney General Denise George Awarded $70,000 No-Bid Contract at Height of Pandemic

Daughter of Attorney General Denise George Awarded $70,000 No-Bid Contract at Height of Pandemic to Attract Visitors to USVI

Kmisha Victoria Counts, the daughter of Attorney General Denise George, was given a no-bid sales representative contract with the Dept. of Tourism worth $70,000 to "represent the USVI as a tourism destination and to increase tourism and travel to the territory from various target market regions in the Continental United States."

That's according to public records on the Property and Procurement website, which also shows the start date of the one-year contract as June 1, 2020, when the world was at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and countries were dissuading travel, or restricting tourism in other ways in an effort to minimize spread of Covid-19. The contract also has an optional one-year renewal clause, which would increase the total compensation to Ms. Counts to $140,000 if the agreement were to be renewed come June 1, 2021.

The contract on P&P, which does not outline a clear directive aside from the short description of attracting visitors to the territory, had to receive a number of signatures before being approved, including a signature from the Dept. of Justice, led by Ms. George, a situation that created an immediate appearance of impropriety even though someone else at D.O.J., Assistant Attorney General Carol McDonald, approved the deal by signing the contract. The contract was also signed by P&P Commissioner Anthony Thomas and Dept. of Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte.

It was not clear why the Government of the Virgin Islands approved a $70,000 sales representative contract to attract visitors to the USVI at the height of a global pandemic. Further unclear is what the sales rep was able to accomplish when much of America was shut down. In California, where Ms. Counts resides, the state was on lockdown on June 1, 2020, the day Ms. Counts's contract with the Dept. of Tourism commenced. And California which has had some of the most stringent Covid-19 restrictions remained in various forms of lockdown for months. In fact California to this day has not reopened its public schools, with the earliest date set for April for elementary students.

Read more: https://viconsortium.com/vi-top_stories/virgin-islands-daughter-of-attorney-general-denise-george-awarded-70000-no-bid-contract-during-height-of-pandemic-to-attract-visitors-to-usvi

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