Attorney General – Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General
3438 Kronprindsens Gade GERS Building,
2nd Floor St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00802

Gordon C. Rhea earned his B.A. Degree with honors from Indiana University, his Master’s Degree from Harvard University, and his law degree from Stanford University Law School. He began his legal career in Los Angeles, where he defended complex criminal cases, and then moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as Special Assistant to the Chief Counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities. His work there involved obtaining documents, deposing witnesses, writing reports, drafting legislation, and preparing Senators Church and Mondale for hearings. He played a major role in investigating and drafting the Senate Committee’s reports on the CIA’s attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro and the FBI’s campaign to discredit Martin Luther King.

When the Committee completed its work, Mr. Rhea became an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C., where he worked for some five years prosecuting cases ranging from misdemeanors to first-degree murders to complex white-collar indictments. He served as the office’s Deputy Director of Superior Court Operations, overseeing all felony prosecutions in the District of Columbia, and as the Executive Assistant United States Attorney under United States Attorney Charles C. Ruff, with responsibility for coordinating local and Federal law enforcement agencies, reviewing and authorizing major local and Federal prosecutions, trying high-profile prosecutions in the nation’s capital, and assisting in managing the nation’s largest Federal prosecutor’s office of over 160 civil and criminal lawyers.

In 1981, Mr. Rhea was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he prosecuted several high-profile murder cases and economic crimes. He was already familiar with the Virgin Islands, having received Peace Corps training on St. Croix in the summer of 1968, before serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia for two years. In 1982, Mr. Rhea and Attorney Thomas Alkon founded Alkon and Rhea, a prominent plaintiff’s firm on St. Croix specializing in toxic tort litigation, product liability cases, and complex white-collar criminal cases. Alkon and Rhea brought critical litigation against the Hess Oil refinery and the Martin Marietta bauxite refinery for toxic exposure to workers, including asbestos, heavy-metal catalysts, silica, solvents, and isocyanate paints. They also prosecuted ground-breaking product liability cases against automobile manufacturers for injuries caused by vehicle instability, firewall failures, and occupant protection failures; handled litigation involving airplane crashes, turbulence encounters, and a wide range of catastrophic worker-related injuries; and served as co-counsel in litigation against Exxon, ESSO, and Texaco for contaminating the sole-source Tutu aquifer on St. Thomas with petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Mr. Rhea represented several businessmen in Federal criminal investigations by the Justice Department’s Criminal Tax Division.

In sum, Mr. Rhea has extensive experience in civil, criminal, and appellate litigation, much of it in the Virgin Islands, where he has been a member of the bar for forty years. He has handled multiple high-profile cases in the islands and won the largest civil jury verdict ever rendered in the V.I. in a landmark case involving cancer deaths caused by cigarettes. This year, the Virgin Islands Bar Association granted Mr. Rhea its highest honor, the Winston Hodge Award. Moreover, he has extensive experience managing one