Man arrested in Haiti assassination worked at Lantana assisted-living center – Palm Beach Post

James Solages was the former maintenance director for the Carlisle Palm Beach assisted-living facility until he resigned in April.

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LANTANA — A South Florida man arrested this week in connection to the assassination of Haiti’s president is a former employee of a Lantana-area assisted living facility, the facility’s executive director confirmed Friday.

James J. Solages was the plant operations director for the Carlisle Palm Beach for two years until his resignation in April, said Richard Tournesy, its executive director.

Solages, 35, was one of two Haitian-American men arrested in connection to Wednesday’s killing of President Jovenel Moise at the presidential residence in Port-au-Prince.

More: Some in Palm Beach County’s Haitian community express heartbreak, pray for hope

‘He was a good employee. He never showed any signs of violence.’

In total, Haiti authorities have taken 17 suspects into custody, including the other Haitian-American man, Joseph Vincent. Both Solages and Vincent are U.S. citizens, according to published reports. 

“The whole (Carlisle) community is shocked liked everyone else,” Tournesy said about Solage’s arrest.  

Records show that Solages has most recently resided in the Broward County city of Tamarac. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that he has no prior criminal history.

Tournesy said a full background check was conducted a prior to Solages’ hiring. He was not aware of any concerns raised during Solages’ employment.

“He was a good employee,” Tournesy said. “He never showed any signs of violence. (It’s) a shock to the community.

“Our job is to ensure our residents are safe, to protect everybody in the community. I don’t know what happened with this young man and his outside life, but in the community, he was a good, standard employee.”

State records tie Solages to nonprofit targeting childhood hunger in Haiti

The Carlisle is a luxury resort-style senior living community located off East Ocean Avenue, south of the town South Palm Beach. A Twitter page showed that Solages has ties to Jacmel, Haiti, a port town on the southern coast of Haiti.   

Tournesy said he did not recall Solages speaking about political interests in Haiti. Various online profiles identify Solages as the chief executive of EJS Maintenance & Repairs, a limited liability company based in Tamarac.

State records show that he is also the president of a nonprofit whose focus is working toward ending childhood hunger in Haiti and improving educational opportunities for the country’s children. A webpage for the charity was not active Friday.  

A relative of Solage’s told the Haitian-Times Thursday that Solage had recently become a U.S. citizen, but traveled to Haiti frequently and aspired to become Jacmel’s mayor. Schubert Dorisme told the publication that Solages was critical of Moise’s leadership and wanted the head of state to step down. 

“He used to tell me ‘that this Jovenel guy is crazy,’” Schubert Dorisme told the publication.  “I don’t think he’s capable to do this thing. I think somebody used him.”