Duguay’s actions above board

A request was made under the
Freedom of Information Law just before the May 2009 elections to obtain a
letter written to the police by Auditor General Mr. Dan Duguay outlining
reasons why my conduct as Minister of Housing and chairman of the National
Housing and Community Development Trust should be investigated by the Financial
Crime Unit.

The contents of the letter were
then published by Cayman News Service and the Netnews. I want to thank
this newspaper for not having indulged in this kind of cheap and destructive
journalism. 

After Mr. Duguay passed his serious
concerns on to the Financial Crime Unit in June 2005, I gave the police my full
cooperation and assistance. I answered more than one hundred and sixty questions
prepared by the police, which included someone from the Auditor General’s
office who had been sworn in as a special constable. These taped interviews
lasted  in total eight or nine hours but long before these questions the
police assisted by the Auditor General himself searched and took computers and
documents from my private office. The police also entered my family home and
secured documents they considered important to their investigation. What I
shall never forget nor forgive is the humiliation that was caused to my wife
that day in June. Nevertheless I cooperated then as I did later because I had
done nothing with criminal intent.

From June 2005, the Auditor General
who had been sworn in as a special constable and the Financial Crime Unit had
documents, papers, computers and my private and business bank accounts. Yet
this investigation was drawn out for over three and a half years to disturb me
mentally and ruin my resolve to defend Caymanian poor and working people. 
Obviously the police must have had some idea of the lack of evidence of
criminal wrongdoing from the second week of the probe because they had by then
most if not all of what might contain evidence of wrongdoing.  If Auditor
General Dan Duguay had uncovered evidence of bribery and corruption between me
and Staunch Limited, rather than suspecting bribery and corruption, then an
arrest would have been made early in the investigation.  But there was
never evidence of any crime, there was only the lack of explanations for
actions that had been taken by the Affordable Housing Initiative. For example
the $300,000 that was paid into the personal account of a manager of Staunch to
purchase materials in Mexico by way of his credit card.

Staunch Limited had become involved
with the Affordable Housing Development after Hurricane Ivan only because I was
angry with the contractor for having removed the insurance policy from the
materials for the remaining homes. These materials were badly damaged or
totally destroyed by Ivan. The contractor gave his reason for his action and
proved that the Trust manager had in fact been notified, but I was very unhappy
and disappointed in this action because I was never told myself beforehand. 
The contractor also tried to make profit from our misfortune by giving a very
high quote for the repairs to the hurricane damaged buildings.

Staunch Limited offered a better
price on the repairs than the contractor and demonstrated how the Trust could
even rebuild homes that the Trust had already collected insurance for. 
Staunch did not have the experience on island but they partnered with a very
established and qualified metal producing, engineering and building company
located in Havana, Cuba. It was only at this point that the contractor reduced
his original estimates.  The Trust therefore decided to give part of the
work to the contractor and part to Staunch Limited because it was important
especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan that people were able to move
into as many of our homes as possible.

I am not Sherlock Holmes but I
reason that Mr. Duguay was provided with misleading explanations because I was
out of power and could not defend myself.  And the sole individual
remaining in a position to give the correct explanations for the red flags he
was seeing was fully committed to my destruction. The Cayman News Service
perverted use of Duguay’s original affidavit even after Senior Crown Councils
in the UK had advised that there was not enough evidence to convict anyone
involved of wrong doing was their way of convicting me in the court of public
opinion during the 2009 election campaign. But the poor still need houses not
promises and if I acted like their messiah by cutting a few corners and
standing up to the bureaucracy then I apologise for my lack of consideration
for those not feeling the same degree of urgency.  Today Mr. Duguay is experiencing
his own kind of political problems but I certainly bare him no malice and
believe that he has always acted honestly and with great respect toward our
politicians.

Frank McField

1 COMMENT

  1. And’ Why would a minister be involved in matters of awarding contract and distribution of funds anyway..

    Public works (should) have a Contracting officers office with quality assurance inspectors, they given the plans and specification, they solicit bids award contracts and inspect to insure compliance with specifications and project suspense dates.. All the minister needs to do is to allocate the fund site, and point to the pretty pictures..

    Any funds paid has to be signed off by the Quality assurance inspector, and approved by the contracting officer before payout to the contractor..

    It is the responsibility of the quality assurance inspector to insure all material paid for is adequately protected and accounted for..

    But’ Heroes are always put on point, when there is a risk they rise to the occasion.. When the risk has diminished they fall in the rear with the gear, and some one else get to say; Look at the pretty pictures.. I am just saying; organization is the key.

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