Port Authority truck was on the job when it parked in a handicap space

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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe said Thursday that a Port Authority vehicle illegally parked in November in a handicapped space at the Home Depot store on St. Croix should not have been there.

"The use is acceptable, but where they parked wasn't," Dowe said.

Dowe's comments come on the heels of a new vehicle-use policy that codifies who is and is not allowed to have 24-hour access to Port Authority vehicles. The Port Authority Board passed the policy Jan. 16 and instructed Dowe to monitor vehicle use and prevent abuse of the policy.

Dowe pointed out that the November photograph was taken well before he assumed the executive director's role early last week. However, he was clear that while the vehicle, which he said is assigned to the maintenance division, was making an acceptable trip to the hardware store, it was not OK for the vehicle to be parked in a handicapped space.

"I spoke to them directly to let them know it's not acceptable," Dowe said.

Dowe said he was meeting with managers in both districts anyway to start "spelling out the rules of engagement" under the new vehicle-use policy.

Anyone driving Port Authority vehicles is expected to obey all traffic and parking regulations, he said.

"It's not some special privilege to not adhere to traffic rules," Dowe said.

Dowe said the vehicle was not assigned to any particular Port Authority employee. While he said the Port Authority does know who the driver would have been, he said he did not have the name readily available and the person would not be facing any disciplinary action.

"I don't think we'll see it happen again," Dowe said.

Readers who spot a government vehicle at a place they think it should not be can take a picture of it and send it, along with the date time and location of the vehicle, to Daily News Executive Editor Gerry Yandel at gyandel@dailynews.vi.

- Contact reporter Lou Mattei at 714-9124 or email lmattei@dailynews.vi.

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