Pastor nominated to Luis board

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ST. THOMAS - Pastor Dexter Skepple has been nominated to serve on the Luis Hospital board.

His confirmation hearing was Monday before the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee.

The nomination is critical because the board only has two sitting members and must get a quorum of five in order to do business.

Skepple is a pastor at Speak the Word Ministries and a pilot.

Skepple said his experience in getting a medical evacuation aircraft to serve St. Croix made him familiar with the hospital and its operations, as has his work ministering to patients and their families.

He also spoke of his close friendship with the hospital's interim chief executive officer, Dr. Kendall Griffith.

Skepple said the financial troubles are not the hospital's problem, but a side effect of bad leadership.

"When you solve a problem by throwing money at it, you never really solve the problem," he said.

Skepple owes the V.I. government back taxes and he explained that the taxes are for his church's employees and himself. He approached the government and informed them when he realized they had been filing their taxes incorrectly, he said. According to his information submitted to the Senate, he and the church owed about $278,000.

Skepple and the church are on a payment plan, he said.

Skepple's confirmation was forwarded to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation, but the vote to do so was not unanimous.

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