Daniel Gibbs wants to "share his feelings"

Dear fellow citizens,

I speak to you today solemnly because no one will do it for me.

Others have taken upon themselves to speak on our behalf in the press on subjects that concern us.

In the continuation of the procedure that began last October 10th with a police custody that justified nothing, if not the desire to humiliate by seizing the press, I am summoned before the Criminal Court of Saint-Martin, with my two Vice-Presidents, Valérie Damaseau and Annick Petrus, for allegations of “favoritism”.

After consulting my lawyer, I want to share my feelings.

I want to be clear with you because words are important, misinformation is dangerous:

Neither one of us three, elected members of St. Martin, is accused of personal enrichment, as some like to claim. The terms used must be precise and the presumption of innocence must prevail as for all the citizens of this country.

I also note that the statements issued in the press obviously originate from circles very close to the investigation, and which should be bound to the duty of confidentiality, already condemn us!

Where is the neutrality of our justice? The quest for sensationalism, damaging our honor … honors no one. And I trust the appointed judge to assess objectively, the facts which we are charged with and consider the very special circumstances which we unfortunately suffered.

It is necessary to set the context:

I am elected on April 2, 2017 and carry the weight of 10 years of previous mandates of poor management.

4 months later, September 6th, 2017 ... IRMA!

And from that date on, my teams’ only goal has been to protect a population that has greatly suffered and has been abandoned.

Our territory then entered the period of imperative urgency. This means that our Collectivité was allowed from that point on to contract urgent services by mutual agreements with businesses that were still operational.

Issuing a public bid to distribute food donations after Irma would have taken 6 months, which is unthinkable in times of such crisis!

Should we have waited 6 months to distribute these donations?

Should we have waited 6 months to clear the roads?

Should we have waited 6 months to supply the rescue teams with gasoline? …

So I ask:

What should have been done in such a degraded context?

My dear friends, can you imagine that 3 months ago, to be exact on August 19, 2019, I learned from the Préfecture of Guadeloupe that on October 9th, 2017, a month after Irma, Saint- Martin and the Saint-Martiners had apparently already come out of the imperious urgency!

On that date, you lived it, we were in total chaos. The President of the Republic himself indicated that it was necessary to "shake up the procedures"! Do you find it normal that this date be set two years after Irma?

As you can see:  the end date of the imperative urgency is a crucial point in this case.

I leave to your critical reflection this point of comparison:

the fire of the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris was judged so catastrophic that 6 months of imperious urgency were set by the Préfecture ...

For St. Martin: After Irma, the biggest natural disaster of our country: only 1 month!

Those who condemn us too quickly today, were obviously not on Saint-Martin on September 6th, 2017 ...

They did not experience the immense desolation left by IRMA, nor the cases of absolute urgency and pressures on all sides to settle human situations.

Those who have lived through these situations of chaos have not forgotten them… We know what we went through together.

So YES, we made decisions in emergency where the legal consideration was not the first concern of the affected and traumatized inhabitants.

Let us keep in mind the help that had to be provided to those who were in a state of vulnerability and even of danger. 60% of uninsured people may I remind you!

I ask the question: who was going to put the zinc back on the roofs?

How can some forget our determination, since 2017 to undertake a necessary reform of our administration?


We still paid a high price at the beginning of the year with a strike of 4 months!

Politics require courage and sometimes unpopular decisions.

I have always said that we would apply the recommendations of the Territorial Audit Chamber in its 2007-2016 report and we are currently doing as such.

Today, they want to make me pay for the failings of the authorities of the times ... including those of the State!

Yet, our term is the first one to get to the bottom of the problem and is at the same time the one being prosecuted. I take note of it!

Dear fellow citizens,

These are some of the points that I wanted to share with you to clarify the approximative statements and the misleading comments on our account and that of the Collectivité de Saint-Martin.

We sometimes feel that as Saint-Martiners, we are alone against all, that nothing spares us, but "what does not kill us makes us stronger".

I thank you for your solidarity and kind support."