North Side political candidate Joseph ‘Joey’ Ebanks has declared there was nothing illegal or improper about a salary advance he received while serving as managing director of Boatswain’s Beach.
Mr. Ebanks acknowledged to the Caymanian Compass Tuesday he received a salary advance from the tourist attraction, but he would not give further details.
‘I haven’t done anything to breach the law or anything of that nature,’ he told the Compass early Tuesday afternoon, adding that he was waiting for the facility’s lawyers to reach agreement on the terms of his separation before commenting further.
‘The speed in which I left meant there wasn’t sufficient time to wrap everything up as it should have been,’ he said.
A joint press release from Mr. Ebanks and the Turtle Farm’s Board addressing the issue of the salary advance had not been provided to the Compass at press time Tuesday and both Mr. Ebanks and Turtle Farm Board Chair Joel Walton had declined earlier opportunities to comment on the matter.
Rumours have been swirling around the community since late last week that Mr. Ebanks owes the Turtle Farm money from a salary advance he received while in charge of Boatswain’s Beach.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush called on the ruling People’s Progressive Movement Government – which Mr. Ebanks is running with as an election candidate in North Side – to make a statement to put a stop to the rumours.
‘The PPM Government needs to make a fair and full statement about his salary, his contract and any advance,’ Mr. Bush said.
‘All that is happening is that Joey is getting banged around,’ he continued, adding that Mr. Ebanks is a friend of his and he has great respect for him and his family
‘There is a general election campaign going on now,’ Mr. Bush said. ‘Joey is a candidate and it is not fair on him to have all these things going around about him without having a clear indication by the PPM Government about what the contract calls for and what exactly happened.’
Auditor General Dan Duguay confirmed he has discussed the situation with senior Turtle Farm officials, but said he is not planning to intervene in the situation at this stage.
‘I’m willing to sit back and let the proper people make the resolution and that is the board of directors and the senior management of the Turtle Farm,’ Mr. Duguay said.
‘I don’t think there is any advantage for the auditor general to be involved at this time.’
The air of secrecy surrounding the claims reached a level of absurdity Monday afternoon when Turtle Farm staff members told the Caymanian Compass that they had been instructed not to say who is currently sitting on the facility’s board of directors.
Mr. Ebanks only announced he was stepping down as the tourist attraction’s managing director and chief operations officer less than a fortnight ago.
A former candidate in Bodden Town, Mr. Ebanks is running as the PPM candidate in North Side after veteran district MLA and Speaker of the House Edna Moyle announced she was bowing out of politics to make way for Mr. Ebanks.