Seven months after a high-ranking government employee was sent on compulsory leave and more than a month after he asked a judge to review his situation in court, several officials have refused to update the public on the matter.

In a closed-door hearing before High Court Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti on Jan. 31, Julian Willock, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, sought a judicial review of a government investigation of his actions. As of deadline yesterday afternoon, the Beacon had been unable to determine whether Mr. Willock’s application to seek leave for a judicial review was granted.

Additionally, officials have refused to allow this newspaper access to any orders or judgments issued by Ms. Joseph-Olivetti in relation to the hearing — types of documents that the Beacon has routinely accessed in the past in relation to other matters.

Former Governor David Pearey, acting on the advice of the Public Service Commission, announced on July 28, 2010 that Mr. Willock would be sent on compulsory leave to enable an investigation into “as of yet unsubstantiated but serious allegations in the print media,” according to Government Information Services.

That announcement came six days after the Beacon published an article about Mr. Willock’s involvement with the news website Virgin Islands News Online.

The article reported journalists’ claims to have worked for VINO without work permits and to have received pay from Advance Marketing & Professional Services, a company owned by Mr. Willock and Angela Burns, a marketing executive for telecommunications provider Digicel-BVI.


The full article appears in the March 3, 2011 issue.