BVI News

Turnbull clueless on abuse of office allegations against him

Labour Minister Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull

Labour Minister Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull said he was unaware of allegations of mismanagement, abuse of office, and conflict of interest that have been levelled against him since being appointed as minister a few months ago.

At a recent press conference, Turnbull was asked about his response to those claims, but the Minister appeared flabbergasted when he understood that the allegations were levelled at him, and were not actually about other officials within the Labour Department.

“Accusation towards me, I don’t understand… Regarding what, specifically?” Turnbull asked. “I can’t help you because I have no clue what you’re speaking about.”

When asked if he had any comment at all to offer on the allegations, Turnbull reiterated that he was ignorant of the basis of the allegations.

“No, I have no clue what you’re talking about. I have no conflict, no nothing. I’m going to simply do what is required to fix the Labour Department but I have no understanding of anything that you’re saying right now,” he said.

Since entering office, the Minister has repeatedly promised that there will be shake-ups in the way things are being done, particularly within the Labour Department and questions were raised about whether he sent the substantive Labour Commissioner, Michelle McLean on leave.

But Turnbull refuted this suggestion, noting that he had no power to do so and advising that the post was a constitutional one under the remit of the Public Service Commission and the Office of the Deputy Governor. 

“What I am doing now in the interim while Mrs McLean went on leave and didn’t appoint an acting Commissioner or somebody to act in her stead, I am just simply trying to ensure that we are doing what is right and legal according to the Virgin Islands Labor Code of 2010,” Turnbull said. 

Turnbull further stated that his Ministry is hoping to address some of the issues that have been identified in the public that he is aware of. 

“So while I have the responsibility to do that, I’m going to work with the persons there to address the issues, to address the concerns so that we can move the Labour Department forward and hopefully be able to transition the conversation from it being what is deemed now the ‘worst department’ within the government system to one that is being progressive and addressing the needs of the community and helping to employ those persons within the workforce,” Turnbull added. 


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  1. Salty Fish says:

    I am not a Mitch fan, but in this case I agree with him.

    Seems certain elements of the Labour Department are getting defensive. Instead of looking for ways to improve, they seem to have taken a position of obstinance and resistance.

    Because of criticism that they are the worst Department and making efforts to get rid of that label, they now seem to take the opposing position of “you think we bad now, we gonna show you just how bad we can really be”. Does that make sense?

    If you don’t like Mitch, then so what! Take pride in the steps that are necessary to improve and don’t allow the ‘outside influencers’ that have the Labour Dept favouring certain stakeholders to hold sway over your Department and further degrading relationships because of selfish gain. You know the ones that have inside tracks for certain favours in return!

    The only areas that suffers in this petty war is the growth and efficiency of our Economy and Territory!

    Like 67
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  2. I beg you says:


  3. bottom line says:

    Mrs Mclean isn’t the problem in labour, maybe she is getting in the politicians way? Because she is trying to protect locals

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  4. @SALTY FISH says:


    Like 12
  5. @ Bottom Line says:

    Excuse me! I am a local and that lady behaved like a hog towards me. Mrs. * and I were supposed to have a meeting and that lady refused to have a meeting with me. Keep in mind that it was Labour that made the error. I remembered vividly stating to the employees that God does not sleep and there will be a shake up in Labour. We can not keep abusing our power and believe that we are in control. God will indeed cut you down to size.

    Trust me my words don’t fall.

    Like 39
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  6. Experiment says:

    Suspend the 2010 Labor Code, put the entire Labor Dept. on administrative leave for a year and let the market economy drive the HR of the BVI. Bureaucrats attempts to control the human resources of the BVI is not the path forward.

    Like 18
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  7. @Bottom Line says:

    Denying work permits does not automatically mean you are protecting locals. Some times it’s actually the complete opposite where locals are trying to open a new business or grow their existing business but need a specific skill set in order to do so. Education is what will protect locals, not blocking workers from coming in and strengthening our economy. That mindset has killed the BVI over the past 20 years. Do you really think any employer takes joy in going through the work permit process? Don’t you think if they could find who they want locally they wouldn’t just do that and avoid the hassle of the WP process?

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  8. Butterfly says:

    You all will see the real opportunistic and power hungry man that Mitch is. Watch the movie.

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  9. Of course says:

    Of Course the staff under his leadership will complain when you are asking them to change and be more efficient at their job. The Labour Department needed a good shake-up for a long time now. We employers are tired of the hassle, rudeness and abuse of our employees. The problem will always be, NO GOVERNMENT WORKER GETS FIRED. In the private sector, we fired you if you do half these things to our paying customers.

    Like 23
  10. cut down says:

    whole dept mis a giant tax on every man woman child here. only benefit to hundreds of staff. any economist worth $50 would look at it for an hour and realize.

    Like 3
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  11. What!!! says:

    The news headline should have stopped after the first two words

    Like 7
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  12. Agree says:

    What is dangerous is that he is clueless and behaving like he knows . He is out of his league. The governor needs to put him back in his lane. By the way, when last he pay attention to his district.

    Like 6
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  13. Bully nonsense says:

    I was willing to give this coalition a chance but the are coming off way too arrogant and bullish. Stop yelling at persons, stop promoting foolishness. You are going to find your support dry up.

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  14. Jokes says:

    The first two words of the headline seems accurate!

    Like 3
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  15. Only the truth says:

    He is victimizating ms McLean and we know it! we saw the letter he got the ps to write to her

    Like 3
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  16. Ok then says:

    Deputy Governor and Governor, what are u going to do about this. I thought the COI was to prevent this type of thing

  17. Maverick says:

    Good job Mitch, ignore the naysayers and bring changes needed to enhance operation and territory as a whole,

  18. QDD says:


    Like 1
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  19. Hmmm says:

    Like he blind too?

  20. Time will tell says:

    We will burn the BVI to the ground the day that happens!!

  21. CGB massive says:

    Good question. All mitch is concern about is being on the news and traveling on the expense of tax payers.

  22. Redstorm says:

    I believe to train them needs people who are not familiar with them. If that does not work then That whole department need to change move them to other departments and train them in little things only then promotes them.

    As I cannot believe at this stage of life this department cannot hav civil people with civil behavior. But I notice a behavior pattern, they go about their work with little meaningful attitude, when there is a break irrelevant conversation about other people lives.

    If you want to grow, get friends and co workers of like mind. Have you ever see an eagle befriend a chicken? Never happened, it’s in a league of its own , be an eagle and lead the way.

  23. Secret Bear says:

    Which so-called journalist asked this question? They should know that the grumblings of some malcontent on WhatsApp is not a legitimate “allegation.” If Mitch is genuine in wanting to reform the Labour Department then more power to him. It needs all the help it can get.

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