The sheer disappointment of hearing that the commissioner of Finance gave unauthorized money to employees to the tune of over 100,000 — resulting in his dismissal — is overwhelming. No matter what the thought process behind this, it was wrong and has damaged again the perception of faith in our local government. It’s a betrayal of the public trust, once again.

We, the public, sit back and ask ourselves how this egregious raiding of the public purse is allowed to happen over and over. Hearing the official response, “that current practices will be examined,” so it never happens again, is a promise so hollow it brings a laugh. Hollow because we have heard this promise over and over, as each government department is literally robbed time and time again. What is particularly distressing about this latest robbery of the public purse, is that this division is actually charged with Virgin Islands money issues.

Breaking the spirit of Virgin Islands citizens and taxpayers is hard to do. We have been abused time after time. In the throes of a nasty pandemic that is inflicting pain and unprecedented economic hardship, it’s especially unacceptable. Where is the honesty and clarity in our government? Is it always a free for all to get all you can, before getting caught?

Disappointment is a politically correct word that gets tossed about in these situations, but the real response to each and every fiscal abuse in our community is a feeling of betrayal, anger and disgust.

— Maria Ferreras is a longtime St. Thomas resident and community volunteer.