MLA Miller calls for inquiry into Premier

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    North Side legislator Ezzard Miller is calling on Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor to launch a commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption surrounding Premier McKeeva Bush. 

    The Caymanian Compass first reported in June that opposition political party members claimed Premier Bush was the subject of a police investigation involving allegations of “financial irregularities”. Mr. Bush has previously denied allegations of any wrong-doing.  

    Mr. Miller said he had concerns about a copy of a letter in his possession, allegedly sent by Mr. Bush to Atlanta, Georgia-based developer Stanley Thomas in October 2004. Mr. Miller said the letter asked for $350,000 to be sent as a balance of payment to a Windsor Development company bank account.  

    The Windsor Development company is a real estate firm in which – at the time the 2004 letter was allegedly sent – Mr. Bush’s wife, Kerry, was the sole shareholder, according to documentation from the Companies Registry. Mr. Miller said Friday that Mr. Bush’s register of interest form filed with the Legislative Assembly office indicated he was a signatory for the company’s bank account at the time the letter was allegedly sent to Mr. Thomas.  

    When asked Friday about the October 2004 letter to Mr. Thomas, Mr. Bush said he would make a statement regarding the letter in due course. “They had better wait to see if indeed I wrote the letter and what happened,” Mr. Bush said.  

    Mr. Miller announced his call for the inquiry in a news briefing Friday. He held the news conference with Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin, who said the People’s Progressive Movement party supported Mr. Miller’s efforts to ask for an inquiry. 

    “I have not found anything in my investigation and supporting documentation that seems to be legitimate justification for the demand for payment in the letter from Mr. Bush, so on that basis, we’ve asked the governor to call a commission of inquiry,” Mr. Miller said. “Up to this point in time, I have not been and I believe the opposition has not been officially informed that there is an investigation into this matter ongoing by the police.” 

    Premier Bush responded to the call for a commission of inquiry by calling it a “red herring” created by Mr. Miller and the PPM to draw attention away from projects such as the Shetty hospital and port developments. 

    “I am not worried about any commission of inquiry. I have not done anything illegal in any shape or form,” Premier Bush said. 

    Mr. Miller and Mr. McLaughlin said they understood the letter referred to a rezoning application to the Central Planning Authority in October 2002. The application sought to rezone 273.8 acres of land between West Bay Road and North Sound from a low density residential zone to a hotel/tourism zone. Cabinet approved the rezoning application in July 2004 and it was passed in a motion in the Legislative Assembly that month. 

    The October 2004 letter does not mention a specific property, but Mr. Miller said: “The only evidence I can find of any rezoning related to any property which Stan Thomas owned or came into possession of around this period of time is that specific rezoning.” 

    Mr. Miller said he did not think there was any reason why a commission of inquiry could not be held at the same time as a police investigation into the same matter. “In fact, they should complement each other,” he said. 

    Leader of the Opposition Mr. McLaughlin called on the Premier to give an explanation about the letter. “At a minimum, this requires a careful explanation… If this is all made up, if this is a fabrication, if the letter is not true, if it is a real estate bill, he needs to tell 
us,” he said. 

    During a 25 June political rally, Mr. Bush referred to a “real estate bill” in connection with an unspecified investigation that he said opposition party members were bringing against him. It was later learned that Governor Taylor had called for the probe after the October 2004 letter was referred to him by the Cayman Islands judiciary.  

    The Governor’s Office confirmed that Mr. Taylor had received a request from Mr. Miller to establish a Commission of Inquiry into alleged financial irregularities concerning Premier Bush on Thursday. “The governor is considering this request and will respond to Mr. Miller as soon as he can,” said Steve Moore, head of the Governor’s Office. 

    Last month, the governor confirmed that a police investigation was under way into alleged financial irregularities, but would not state who was involved. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service gave a similar response. 

    “I find the official reluctance to acknowledge the existence of this investigation puzzling,” said Mr. McLaughlin at Friday’s briefing. “The premier has referred to it. We have been told other than officially of the existence of it, but the continued reluctance of His Excellency the Governor and commissioner of police to acknowledge this is something I have not been able to figure out myself.” 

    Mr. Bush said he believed the call for the inquiry was being made by Mr. Miller – and not the Opposition Leader Mr. McLaughlin – because there had been a call during a Finance Committee meeting in the Legislative Assembly last month for a commission of inquiry into the procurement of contracts for John Gray and Clifton Hunter high schools and related projects that occurred while Mr. McLaughlin was minister of education. 

    “All that is going on is an attempt to stop the government from getting our projects done… I am not going to let this derail my responsibility to get the economy back on track and getting the government finances in good shape,” Mr. Bush said. 

    “I have been down this road before and I have found if your hands are clean and your heart is pure, you have nothing to worry about. I am not concerned one bit, except that my family is being humiliated a lot and Ezzard Miller is part and principal of this attempt,” 
the premier said. 

    He added that while a police investigation was being carried out, “I think things should be left unsaid”.  

    Asked when he would comment directly on the letter that has prompted Mr. Miller to ask the governor for a commission of inquiry, Mr. Bush responded: “When I am ready and the time is right. I have nothing to hide.” 

    In his letter to the governor asking for an inquiry, Mr. Miller said there was no record of Windsor Development being involved in the planning application process for the development. 

    He called on the governor to publish the findings of a commission of inquiry into the matter “by having the Deputy Governor [Donovan Ebanks] lay the report on the table of the Legislative Assembly”. 

    The North Side MLA has also called for the Anti-Corruption Commission, chaired by police commissioner David Baines, to investigate the matter. 

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    North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, left, and Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin at Friday’s news conference.


    1. I have to say that I don’t blame the Premier one bit, when you have people like these two looking to twist and manipulate everything you do and say and try to use it against you it is best to just not respond to them and ignore their comments, sometimes this just shows who the bigger man is. Regarding their claim that he owes them an explanation, I’m sure Bush’s position is that he doesn’t answer to them and owes them nothing. And I’m sure both Alden and Miller would have the same feelings if the tables were turned.

      One thing in my opinion is that it looks to me like they’re trying their best to bring the current government down by any means necessary and they are seriously digging for dirt under every rock they can turn over looking for something on Bush. I’m personally not sure if he’s corrupt or not, but I’ll just have to wait for the outcome of an actual investigation before casting judgment.

      Right now from the outside looking in, I’d have to say that is seems Bush is trying everything he can and considering every option to turn the economy around while these two are doing everything they can to stop him from succeeding.

      Just my personal opinion as an outside observerBut you never know I could be wrong these could all be selfless acts and Alden and Miller could just be doing all this because they actually think everything he’s considering is bad for the country . I’d really love to see what they’d be doing now if one of them were premier. I have to wonder how supportive they’d be of each other if that were the case. They seem to be really buddy buddy now, since they have a common goal of destroying Bush.

    2. This should have been done since the 1st Cayman Bank debacle; I was flabbergasted when he got re-elected after that, considering how many hard-working Caymanians lost their hard-earned money because he, being a Director, was lax in his duties. How long before we realize it is time to vote for the sake of the country, not blinded by party fanatism.

    3. Not saying that the Premier is innocent. But let us remember that he is under investigation by the Police. The investigation is not over… so he is not guilty of any offense.

    4. I must say that if Ezzard leads he certainly is a man of integrity, that’s the reason I pushed Northsiders to give this man a chance, I could see the potential in him and his destiny for Leadership needed in this 21st century. He is a man that believes in total honesty transparency and this is something that should be appreciated by all of us. As much as I criticize Alden, he’s not so bad himself, whether he wants the premier’s job or not, at least he’s doing the right thing for the country seeking answers for the people. I’m starting to like the guy. I admire these two young gentlemen standing up for democracy and what is right. Guys, there’s no independent party or team established that we are aware of to support. It looks like if we refuse the UDP we are going to have to give the PPM another chance. Its not my opinion it’s just mathematics!
      Kudos Alden and Ezzard

    5. NJ2Cay You sound like Bodden wearing a different Hat!
      One question, are you saying that Ezzard and Alden are ?how is this possible?

      There’s a difference

    6. Its Just mathematics, how many people realize that this is the truth and that Tigers comment is a reality check?
      If you don’t have Mama You have to take PaPa, ain’t that what the old folks say?
      Take out the calculator:
      It is now July 2011
      Last elections was May 2009 over 2 yrs ago.
      To date no Independent Leader of a party has emerged greater than Mr. Ezzard Miller acting as Independent but Leading the PPM from behind! that’s awesome, and powerful!

    7. Did anyone notice the problems in voting on the CNS comment poll? It’s a real joke! CNS need to
      make up their mind about giving the contributors credit for their comments in CNS forums? CCNS seem to have locked of the polls in our ability to vote Thumbs UP for some writers, but ENABLE Thumbs Down for the same writers! yet they question the premier’s integrity! On the other hand some of my votes of Thumbs Up seem to have gone to credit of the wrong person/poll if it makes Alden and Ezzard Look Good!.somebody is robbing Peter to Pay Paul here! I’m beginning to think that maybe Bodden in the Compass Forum is telling the truth when he questions the CNS Polls. I see his point very clearly now.

    8. Vietnam,
      I too has questioned the poll count and suspicious pattern of voting reported on CNS Polls.
      I myself have tried to do a thumbs up for comments from some writers and the thumbs up was ‘DISABLED
      on the other hand when I tried to vote the thumbs up for comments favoring Alden and Ezzards the voting poll was ‘ENABLED! CNS cannot tell anyone that some politicians are in control of the handling of commenting.Conributors are not getting their fair of voting on CNS polls.God help us if we have to use their polling as a guide to judge prospective election results and ratings for the candidates in 2013! We better hurry up and get another newspaper going.

      Editor’s note: Why would you need another newspaper besides the Caymanian Compass? 😉

    9. Ah, small island politics! Mr.Bush gets attacked from all sides but still wins election, the Leader of the opposition gets thrown out twice as leader I believe. There are unending calls for investigations not to mention tasteless remarks about expats who try to help where they can! Are the other politicians that white,jealous or just bl….yd minded. I am not impressed with any side but I would be interested to hear what other people think?

      Have you ever read the book Don’t stop the carnival?

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