Anglin explains position on DUI case
Cayman Islands Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin addressed questions Wednesday over why he should be allowed to stay in Cabinet while former Premier McKeeva Bush had to be forced out due to criminal allegations.
Mr. Bush has not been charged with any crimes, but he was arrested on 11 December on suspicion of theft and corruption-related offences. A week later, 11 Cayman Islands lawmakers voted to support a “no confidence” motion that ultimately led to Mr. Bush’s removal.
Mr. Anglin pleaded guilty to careless driving while under the influence of alcohol in November. He faces sentencing for the offence on 5 March.
However, the new deputy premier said Wednesday that there were “no integrity issues” surrounding his plea agreement and that the situations involving himself and Mr. Bush were entirely different.
Mr. Anglin pleaded guilty to driving along West Bay Road in the vicinity of Avalon Condos on 23 May, 2012, without due care and attention [careless driving] and driving under the influence of alcohol, with an alcohol-in-blood reading of .110. The legal limit in Cayman is .100.
The government minister’s attorney, Steve McField, asked the magistrate to delay sentencing. He said his client was willing to enter the programme offered by the court. Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn explained that the DUI programme is run by the Counselling Centre and it involves six weeks of attending evening classes, after which the court is provided with a report of the defendant’s attendance and participation.
“The concern isn’t the same,” the deputy premier said. “Under my scenario, I can’t go to jail. I can’t be eliminated as a member of the House. There’s no integrity issues surrounding me.”
According to section 77 of the Traffic Law, 2011: “A person who drives a vehicle or animal on a road without care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term of six months, or to both.”
“I made a stupid decision,” Mr. Anglin continued. “I apologised to the country and I decided that even though I thought I had a good case that it was in the best interest of myself, my family, my colleagues and the country to move forward.
“The worst that can happen to me – and I’m not saying this to make light of it – but the worst that could happen to me … is that I could lose my driver’s licence.”
On the other hand, Mr. Bush, if charged and convicted, could face a multi-year prison sentence on corruption-related offences.
Moreover, Mr. Anglin’s colleagues in the legislature said the deputy premier’s conduct occurred in connection with a personal matter while the allegations against Mr. Bush concerned his behaviour while in office.
“The comparison has been made and we’ve seen the comparison [between Minister Anglin and Mr. Bush’s situations],” Minister Cline Glidden, Jr. said. “Reasonable thinking individuals will look at the situation and see very clearly, one was for a mistake … that was made in his private capacity and the other are allegations that are made in the capacity of the office holder and his responsibilities for his government.
“We don’t have a situation, for example, that the Minister of Education, going into his office, can have the real or perceived issue of potentially interacting with potential witnesses or statement givers that are investigating his situation. Whereas, that possibility … could have been seen as interfering with the ongoing investigation [into Mr. Bush]. To draw that comparison is quite unreasonable.”