Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach on Tuesday, without identifying the company by name, called for a stop in negotiations with Avera, the startup company co-founded by Bryan’s older daughter, Aliyah, and in line for a $1 million no-bid contract to provide contact tracing services to the V.I. Department of Health.
Roach said he notified Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. via letter following a Monday press briefing in which Bryan said that he would “recuse” himself from signing off on the contract, citing conflict of interest and noting that he would leave it up to Roach’s office.
Roach, however, said if the territory has $1 million at its disposal, that money should be directed to support existing government agencies such as the University of the Virgin Islands and the Bureau of Information Technology that could work with the Health Department on contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.
“I will not execute a contract with a private vendor in that regard, unless I am convinced that resources already at our command, including valuable work already done by the Department of Health, cannot adequately address this need,” Roach wrote.
He added that if BIT, the university and Health cannot work together on contract tracing “…then we are literally up the proverbial creek without a paddle.”
Roach did not address the fact that as the lieutenant governor, and as the lieutenant-governor candidate chosen by Bryan, signing off on the no-bid contract would also pose a conflict of interest.
Read more about it in tomorrow’s edition of The Daily news.