BVI News

My brother and I keep it professional, says Premier

Composite photo of Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley and his brother, Benito Wheatley who is Special Envoy to the Premier’s Office.

While noting that he and his brother ‘keep things professional’ on the job, Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has said the Virgin Islands society must be mature enough to handle any conflict of interest situations that might arise because of close family relations with people in government.

The Premier’s statement was in response to a question posed by the media about a possible conflict of interest between him and his brother Benito Wheatley who maintained his position as Special Envoy to the Premier’s Office after the shakeup of the government.

Dr Wheatley suggested that his brother’s experience was too valuable for his administration to not retain him in the post.

“He was the Deputy Director of the London Office and I think he has been working in the area since the Ralph T O’Neal administration. So, he has a great deal of experience, a great deal of expertise in the particular area and I think the government of the Virgin Islands is well served to have him served in the past four administration,” Dr. Wheatley said

“It would not be in the Virgin Islands’ interest to not have access to his experience and advice at the time that we most need it. I would have to say he was instrumental in securing the results that we got [the negotiations with the United Kingdom government], and he continues to do a good job of serving the Virgin Islands people and I see no reason to disrupt that at all,” the Premier continued.

Dr Wheatley further said it is not unusual for people to have close family members working in government in the territory, as the Virgin Islands is a small space. He noted that society must be mature enough to handle those potential conflicts of interest.

“For instance, a decision to deal with anything, like to deal with a contract I would have to recuse myself from any decision-making. But as it pertains to advice, we keep it as professional as possible,” Dr Wheatley said.

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22 Comments

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  1. Hmmm says:

    The politicians in the BVI were cloned.

    Like 10
  2. Leadership needed says:

    The governor is running the country. Natalio is just happy to be Premier to say he followed in his grandfather’s doorstep. Eventhough Willard was elected and he had to wait for someone to go jail to become Premier. We need real leadership in this country. We need people who would stand up for BVI. We don’t need a lap dog for the governor which is clearly what Natalio is.

    Like 24
    Dislike 7
    • To leadership needed says:

      This comment seems so personal and without substance. I suspect this is someone with a gripe against the wheatley family. How disrespectful to refer to the grandfather premier by his first name.
      Clearly this writer has nothing going for themselves.

      Like 5
      Dislike 21
    • @ Leadership Needed says:

      Even if 75% of the population went to jail or died you could never become Premier.

      Like 12
      Dislike 2
    • Licker and Sticker says:

      Slow Wande even after the COI doesn’t under stand what a conflict of interest is. I anticipate that he may only understand when he is voted out. Don’t worry he eventually figures stuff out. He your Premier Slow Wande A-Who-R-You

  3. Benito Wheatley is top notch says:

    Benito Wheatley is a valuable asset to BVI. He is a former Director of the BVI London Office and has a lot of diplomatic experience with the UK, EU, Commonwealth and UN.

    https://www.southampton.ac.uk/publicpolicy/support-for-policymakers/CSaP%20fellowships/Fellows/benito-wheatley.page

    Better to have him than not.

    Like 26
    Dislike 10
    • BVI resident says:

      I had the pleasure of meeting Benito many years ago in London. He is smart, eloquent and definitely an asset for the country. I don’t think anybody in BVI would be able to fill his shoes, especially in London. Just my 2 cents

      Like 21
      Dislike 8
      • ??? says:

        He should be! He’s a “MOOREHOUSE MAN”. Expect nothing less from
        HBCU graduates.

      • Other Side of the coin says:

        Many of our young professionals are top notch on paper but Up close and personal they are not what or who they appear to be. Many of them are for themselves and will use every opportunity to crush their fellow professionals. it’s really sad…don’t think this fella is any different than the rest in fact I heard a few stories. We can’t go independent with this mentality. There are other professionals who have international experience who can also advise the Premier but of course we only support friends and family…in the name of being ‘mature’.

        Like 5
        Dislike 2
      • Say What? says:

        There are also other smart successful BVISLANDERs living abroad but they are not given the opportunity even when they come forward to contribute. There are many horror stories of people being blocked by those in positions because they want to shine alone. They cant share the shine. We need a lot of good people everywhere! We need more than one specialist for each job. Saying no one else can fill his shoes feeds into the narrative of nepotism and cronyism. This attitude brought the COI to our shores.

  4. Ausar says:

    Two handsome young men, in the leadership of politics, in the BVI!

    Luuuuvv it!!!

    Like 6
    Dislike 18
  5. Wondering says:

    So let us have elections, let Benito run and see if he gets elected. It is the only non incestuous way forward. Who ever wants to run the Government of the BVI, please come out of the shadows and run for election. The BVI just can not afford to pay experts to tell the elected (being paid perhaps forever) folks what to do. This is senseless waste of time and money. Nepotism is one reason the BVI is so corrupt.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  6. YES TO UK says:

    When are going to get rid of MUTT AND JEFF both of you are shameless, need I say more?

    Like 10
    Dislike 4
  7. shaq attack says:

    Just ask them where is Dugg

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  8. heckler says:

    These two destroyed whatever legacy Willard left

    Like 6
    Dislike 5
  9. WEW says:

    Just like the government has done for years.

  10. oh says:

    So what is Grant In Aid? Was it genius to forever end Grant In Aid for the BVI? Can you take a moment and look this up and inform yourself? It is time we open our eyes in the BVI and seek out facts.

  11. StandupORShUtUP says:

    Those of you who are complaining which of you are willing and able to take his place.

    Like 1
    Dislike 8
  12. Interested says:

    No one is indispensable.Where there is a good,There is always a better.How hard have we looked ?

  13. Styles. says:

    Hey Natalio, can you spell:

    C O N F L I C T O F I N T E R E S T

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  14. Nonsense says:

    Replace him? Why? Is he not among our best and brightest minds? You prefer him to take his talent somewhere else from serving his country? With his skills and CV, he could take his talent elsewhere if he wanted to and not be bothered like many Virgin Islanders who feel unappreciated by their own people. The Premier did not hire him. If you want him gone so bad, please state who should replace him if you want him leave? Cindy? Heritage? Can they fill his shoes?

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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