Ebanks charged with 29 counts

Former Electricity Regulatory Authority managing director Joey Ebanks was charged on Wednesday with 29 counts, including theft and forgery offences. 

Mr. Ebanks, 49, was charged with nine counts of making a document without authority, eight counts of obtaining property by deception, seven counts of theft, two counts of forgery, one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception, one count of transferring criminal property and one count of obtaining property by deception. 

He was arrested at his home in Lower Valley on 6 March on suspicion of abuse of office, theft and suspicion of possession of a drug utensil and charged Wednesday when he complied with his bail conditions and returned to the police’s Financial Crime Unit. He was not charged with any drug-related offence. 

Mr. Ebanks was bailed to appear in court on Tuesday, 16 April. 

A leaked document from the Auditor General’s Office that made its way into the public domain this week appears to detail questionable financial transactions carried out by Mr. Ebanks while he was managing director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority.  

Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick said he was concerned that the confidential document has been made public. “I am considering what action I need to take in relation to how that document became publicly available.” 

Mr. Ebanks was suspended as head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority last month after the Auditor General’s Office raised concerns about financial irregularities within 
the authority. Five days after Governor Duncan Taylor suspended him from his position atop the regulatory authority, Mr. Ebanks was arrested. 

He subsequently resigned from his position as managing director of the regulatory agency and is running for election in North Side against incumbent independent legislator Ezzard Miller. 

The charges are the latest development in controversy surrounding Mr. Ebanks’ involvement in the Electricity Regulatory Authority. He had blamed his suspension on his highlighting of anomalies surrounding the bidding process in which Dart Enterprises Construction Company, known as DECCO, won a contract to produce electricity. 

Following those allegations by Mr. Ebanks, the board of the Electricity Regulatory Authority announced last week that it would launch an investigation into the bidding process. 

The ERA board, in a news release issued Friday, said that it had “determined that it has a duty to the bidders and the general public to cause an investigation to be undertaken on the 36MW bid process by an unrelated qualified party that is presently being identified”. 

Mr. Ebanks, in an email sent to the chairwoman of the ERA, Sherri Bodden, last week and copied to the media, said he would only cooperate with the investigation if a number of conditions were met, including the suspension from Cabinet of government ministers Mark Scotland and Cline Glidden, a public apology from Governor Taylor, and if he was allowed to pick one of three members on the investigation team. 

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