Arden cleared over CUC bills

| 19/04/2012

005.JPG(CNS):  Full story – The opposition member for East End has been cleared by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) of any wrongdoing in connection with a dispute he had with CUC over power bills when he was minister with responsibility for electricity. Following accusations made by Premier McKeeva Bush and complaints to the commission, Arden McLean said he was proactive in clearing his name and called on the premier to do the same thing regarding the police investigation into his financial affairs that has dragged on for more than two years. With a letter from Police Commissioner David Baines in his possession, McLean called on Bush to show the country his letter of exoneration if, as he says, his “heart was pure and hands clean”.

The former Cabinet member who served as minister with responsibility for CUC during the previous administration had been accused by Bush of using his position to avoid paying power bills. McLeanhad, however, always stated that the bills were paid late because of a legitimate dispute with the power company over the amounts.

The East End member said that as soon as Bush announced that he had reported the issue to the Anti-corruption Commission, he contacted the police and CUC in order to cooperate fully with the investigation. He gave permission to release all of his records with CUC, saving the commission from having to get a court order, and made all the relevant information available to the investigating officer.

“I had no hesitation in taking these steps as I had and have absolutely nothing to hide,” McLean said on Wednesday as he demanded the premier do likewise. He accused Bush of making the “spurious and desperate allegations” against him in order to deflect attention from the premier’s own investigation by the police into financial irregularities.

“Rather than trumping up allegations against honest servants of the people to deflect attention from his own criminal investigation for financial irregularities, the premier should provide a full, satisfactory explanation of the matters that led to the … investigation he has been under for two years now.”

McLean called on Bush to follow his example of transparency and submit himself for questioning as he, Mclean, had done and provide the relevant records to the investigators. 

“Anyone with ‘clean hands and a pure heart’ should be eager to demonstrate his innocence to the world,” he said and called on the premier to reveal the details of the now infamous letter to Stan Thomas, which has been described as a real estate bill by the premier, sent to the Texan developer who once owned land inthe Safe Haven area.

Police Commissioner David Baines, who chairs the ACC, wrote to the former minister yesterday clearing him of any wrongdoing after what he described as a full investigation. Baines wrote that there was no evidence to “substantiate that he had committed any offence” while in office under any legislation and there was no “justification for any further investigation”. He thanked McLean for cooperating with the case, which is now closed.

So far, there has been no such clearance regarding the Bush investigation.

The authorities have continued to state that the investigation is ongoing. It is not yet clear if the case has reached the independent office of the director of public prosecutions, who would, based on any evidence against the premier, have the final say in any decision by the Anti-corruption Commission to prosecute.

At a recent Chamber meeting the police commissioner revealed that he had some difficulties with current corruption investigations because the anti-corruption legislation was not retroactive. He did not indicate whether this related to the investigation into Bush but the Thomas ‘invoice’ was sent, according to the fax stamp, in October 2004, before the anti-corruption legislation was implemented.

See letters between McLean and CUC, and Baines and McLean below.

See the letter at the heart of the Bush investigation here.

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  1. Albert Jackson says:

    Mr. Mclean don't chase money and is not a stooge politician. He has backbone and stands up for what's right. For the People, of the People and by the People. True Leadership or the Man who knows how to stand UP. Take your pick there all great.

    • Anonymous says:

      I find it incredible that RCIPS wasted no time in completing the  investigation of Mr. McLean but over two years of investigating Mr. Bush and still no conculsion. Makes one wonder.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not incredible at all. There was nothing to the CUC allegation and they had the active cooperation of Arden.

      • Anonymous says:

        Also why weren't they calls for him to step down until cleared or for that matter why didn't he volunteer…politics as usual …what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.

        • Anonymous says:

          Step down for what reason exactly? There was never any evidence of wrongdoing. The whole insinuation was not only untrue but ridiculous – that in return for getting payment of his bills deferred for a year (but still having to pay them and getting cut off in the meantime) McLean gave CUC a new licence under which he, along with every other customer including his constituents, would have higher electricity bills (although they were actually lower) for the next 20 years so CUC could get more profit (although it actually got less). How any sensible person could believe such nonsense is beyond me.    

          McLean immediately voluntarily submitted himself to the Anti-Corruption Commission, opened his records and fully cooperated with the police. It was all over in one month because there was nothing there to begin with. It obviously could not affect the performance of his duties as an MLA. Everyone recognised that this was just a spiteful political ploy by Bush that has nothing to do with the serious criminal investigations against him.     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is a very unique place, to say the least and the Cayman Islands Police Force ( officially called the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service) operates under Cayman's rules…nothing to do with the Qeen or British law….they are quasi-independent of any direct supervision of any British authority that responsible for investigating official corruption in public office.

    Case in point is the controversy brewing in Parliament in Britain concerning the appointment of this British peer as an unofficial ambassador of the Cayman Islands; he is being openly grilled, questioned and criticised IN OPEN PARLIAMENT on the potential conflict of interest this position put him in; nothing can be hidden or covered up about it.

    Because McKeeva Bush is Cayman's first Premiere and still in power, the RCIPS has simply suspended or dragged its feet on any investigation of this 'bill' for services…this is to avoid the international embarrassment to Cayman should any investigation turn up the evidence that McKeeva Bush has committed a corrupt act.

    This is the 'Cayman way' as one very connected colleague of mine told me some years ago.

    Don't expect anything to change anytime soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      RCIP is not completely independent from the FCO. The FCO know exactly what is going on and are probably orchestrating it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fior my money, it's the FCO covering this up because of the potential diplomatic embarassment. Otherwise, in the past two years someone might have thought to interview Bush about the letter. It might help to know what he has to say or that he will not talk about it. Stan Thomas is not going to talk about it UNLESS he gets a pass from the US justice Department. This, of course, depends on the FCO actually approaching the US authorities, which they obviously are very reluctant to do. Sooooo best to forget about the whole thing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well done Arden. As a Caymanian I am proud of you. I am sure all the East Enders are proud to have someone like you as their leader. 

    The Premier tried to deflect attention away from himself and you took him on and proved your innocence. Unlike him who is constanltly spouting that "he is sure the truth will come out and he has clean hands and a pure heart" well Mr. Premier anyone that is truly innocent and have clean hands and a pure heart would be fighting to clear their name. 

    Looks like the Premier is just hoping that over time the Caymanian people will simply not remember this fiasco with Stan Thomas and other little "incidents". 

    Does anyone ever notice how many times the Premier is alledgedly involved in something suspicious and there is always some investigation that seems to never end or worse no investigation at all. 

    Sorry Mr. Premier you messed with the wrong person when you took Arden on, Arden has a big mouth and he was not going to make someone accuse him of wrong doing and just sit quietly in the corner. He took you on and now that he has proven his innocence to your accusation can you reciprocate and also produce evidence of your innocence? 

    However, unfortunately as a previous poster said come election time, the Premier will again try to mention this CUC issue and there are some people that will not remember that Arden cleared his name.

    But be careful Mr. Premier, as I recall when you were in charge of Cayman AIrways, you owed them thousands of dollars as well which I don't believe has been settled. Did you have a legitimate dispute with them over your airline charges? I think not! So u accuse Arden of abusing his position when you do that every day.

  4. Peter Milburn says:

    I for one(among many others)have never doubted Ardens integrity in this obvious tasteless endeavour to smear his name.I cannot believe that this present Govt could have wasted the time of the ACC in this matter.Pure unadulterated childishness.Is there any wonder that we find ourselves in the mess that we are in today.when a bunch of CHILDREN so called leaders of this fair country can stoop to this level.Our future is very surely in the wrong hands and something MUST be done to get these people out of the House.Arden keep up the good work and time will certainly be longer than rope in this case.OMOV soon come for all to see and enjoy for the betterment of the Country.

    • anonymous says:

      This attack on Mr. Arden McLean is a real joke. As politically motivated as I am, I never even wasted a thought on this, its 'NEITHER HERE NOR THERE"

      McKeeva Bush can not walk in Arden McLean's shoes!

      Why don't he too turn himself in for investigation lets see the skeletons unfold!

      It would be like watching "Bones."

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr. McLean.  A true statesman and honourable man.   Our current batch of governing politicians could learn a valuable lesson from you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This news means nothing to ignorant UDPites.

    All the Mac needs to do is make the same allegation again come election time and they will all believe that Arden has never paid a CUC bill!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Huh!! Take that McKeeva!  Now lets here what the young McKeeva has to say on Rooster tomorrow, about that.  Arden listen carefully tomorrow morning, because the young McKeeva will have a lot of "FACTS" to say tomorrow, but he just won't answer the questions about the Chinese or the docks.  He needs to answer the questions about the Dynamite too.  He needs to let us know if this was the Chinese bringing it in, without the proper paperworks.  He needs to start telling the truth and stop blaming the oppositions for them not achieving. It sames like he comes on to the radio to argue and blame the PPM, Ezzard and anyone who opposes the UDP.  I don't listen much to the talk show ehen he is on, as he sickens me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Arden just wiped the floor with McKeeva who clearly didn't think this far ahead. He just thought he would get back at Arden for asking for an investigation of the $200,000 promise of funds for John McLean Jr. to manage, and it would take some heat off himself if he accused Arden of corruption. McKeeva now has more pressure than ever to give the full story about the Stan Thomas affair. Very dumb. Can't wait for his response.   

    • Anonymous says:

      While Mac is telling us all about Stan Thomas can he also tell us about a certain other develloper and his choice of realtors?

      For the Hyatt they chose one company. For the Ritz they chose another. Who owns the real estate companies in question? Why and how were they selected?

      Do we even have an independent police force here?

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      Ok Mac, its your time to give the Anti-Corruption Commision free reign to all your transactions etc. with the investigation on-going concerning yourself as did the Action Man. Arden also gave CUC permission to give free access to the Anti-Curruption Commision to the entire transactions between himself and CUC. 

      I know Mac will NEVER allow it to happen but I wish he would let ALL transactions and records of his entire dealings with contracts negotiated between him, on behalf of The Cayman Islands Government, and companies like Cohen & Co, GLF, China Harbour, just to name a few – IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!

      Arden had no fear in any investigation taking place as there was nothing illegal or corrupted taking place, so why cant Mac do the same?

      Is he afraid of what will be revealed?

      Come on Mac, show the people, that you claim you love and are fighting for, that you have nothing to hide, by freeing up the investigation and allowing the investigators free access to all your records – I Deeply doubt that you can do this Mac!

  9. Cayman islands says:

    Feel sorry for BBM supporters . The cant see the truth . The just support without know the facts
    We soon be anther jamaica .

  10. Anonnymous says:

    Maybe I'm a little off on my time line but was the Anti-Corruption legislation in force when the situation between Arden and CUC occurred?  My point is, why could the Anti-Corruption Commission investigate Arden's case but not the "other"?  Perhaps a knowledgeable poster can enlighten me?  I'm happy that this case has been resolved, although I agree with the poster who pointed out that if the customer had been a common Joe their power would have been cut off.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point re the Anti-Corruption Law which came into force in 2010. However, the common law has always been in force.     

      • Anonymous says:

        What rule at common law are you referring to?

        • Anonymous says:

          This might come as a shock to you but the potential offences of bribery or extortion are illegal at common law.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Who says his power wasn't cut off?

  11. anonymous says:

    I am glad to hear this however if the normal person was "late" over 1 year paying their bills you know CUC would have cut them off from month two- there clearly was a favour ( a special condition) here but it is not corruption of any sort.

    • Anonymous says:

      Usually its the case that disputed bills are not paid and electricity not cut-off for non-payment of disputed amounts.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am neither an East Ender, a member of Mr. McLean's family, one of his personal friends, a member of the PPM or any other group associated with Mr. McLean.  I am however a born Caymanian, with enough generations before me to know something about where Mr. McLean comes from and what he stands for.  As a mother fighting to raise my kids to be responsible, educated and dignified members of society, I am proud to point to Mr. McLean as a role model; someone who understands that his reputation is all he has and is not willing to compromise it for anyone; not even in order to line his pockets and live the good life, as so many others choose to do.  Well done, Mr. McLean, for fighting the good fight; for standing up and clearing your name. I expected nothing less.  Please continue on the straight and narrow.

    It is my hope that one day Cayman will be the proud owner of a Premier with the proper level ofintegrity; someone with vision who can lead this country forward; someone with enough gumption to put the needs of his/her own people first, and the intelligence to represent us proudly at home and in front of the world.  Our children deserve nothing less.  Like many others,  I am absolutely tired of this current situation.  We need once again to feel good about our people, our country and most of all, our future.  


    • expat says:

      This is probably the best post I have seen on this site all year.  It shows great  honesty, integrity, and expresses in gentle terms  how the quiet majority of Caymanians feel. Beautifully put!

  13. Old Sea Captain says:

    This is not news as everything the Premier initiates BACKFIRES. Come on Mr Premier the whole country is awaiting your response to this story, show them you have b—- and make a statement, I forgot, we pay your learned attorney to deal with these matters.

    • Anonymous says:

      The premier is too busy cleaning his hands and purifying his heart to respond to Arden!


  14. Anonymous says:

    As a true East Ender and a Arden supporter, I wish to thank you Arden for continuing to show the rest of the country what it takes to be a good leader. Now to you Mac is there any othe allegations you wish toshoot at our honarable representative from East End? Go ahead take you best shot, but please answer your outstanding investigation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont blame Mac because the Police are so slow.

      Its a good thing Arden CUC bill was only one page – that took them since 2009 to read – imagine if it was more.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not sure what you are talking about. Arden's investigation began in March, 2012 and covered a long period of his bills and correspondence.

    • Born a Caymanian says:

      I like Mr Arden very much, and I do not even think it was necessary for all this to go so far, because I really think it was nothing more than a Tit for Tat with he and McKeeva Bush.

       Truthfully speaking Mr Bush YOU  as a Premier, need to stop the Titting for Tatting, behave like a man, behave like a Premier should.  All the others, Alden, Ezzard, Elio, Arden  why cant the bunch of you be like Anthony Eden or Eugene, Hear, see deaf and Dumb.  Dont have a dam thing to say..  Ever heard your mother use these words before  'STICKS AND STONE WILL BREAK MY BONES, BUT I WONT LET WORDS HURT ME"   Well think about it.  I am so distrub and embarrassed to see and hear these so called Caymanian men behaving in such ways.  My Dear God, I am so embarassed of the way McKeeva, Arden, Alden and Ezzard and Elio is rowing, smearing, taunting, backbiting, smurking and all of the bad names. they are doing.   You all are not the Caymanian men I look up to.  Lopping frock tails and bickering NO, Stop it.    You all are making me shame reading the news, listening to the radio and hearing you speak in the LA.  For God,s sake please show some shame, what the hell is wrong with you people anyway.   Why in Gods name have you made POWER and MONEY TURNED YOU ALL INTO SOMETHING SINSTER.

      Some body has to decide toignore the other, and unless this is done, trust me ALL OF YOU ARE DEPRESSING THE WHOLE CAYMAN POPULATION.

      I can really see why Caymanian women have to look for foreign men, because trust me there is none on here that they could feel comfortable with after listening to you people.  please listen to yourselves on tape, utterly disgraceful.

      • Anonymous says:

        Other Politicians did that and see where it got them . Ignoring lies, doesn't mean that the lies ignore you!

        Arden well done on how you are handling this.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Man of action not chat

  16. Anonymous says:

    It seems that an investigation into someone who is completely innocent who also cooperates with the police can be concluded quickly, while under different circumstances an investigation can go on for a very very long time.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Mr. McLean. So very sad we can't say congratulations Mr Bush.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bout time the police prosecuted Bush for wasting their time… and yet more of our money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Regarding the Commissioner's claim about the Anti-corruption legislation not being retroactive and therefore not applicable to the Bush case — surely we must have some other legislation that was then in place to deal with this?

      I do not believe that that can be used as an excuse — we have the penal code and I am sure other legislation that must be able to cover this.

      In any event, it seems sad that we may resort to a technicality — even if we had not other legislation, it seems to me that somewhere along the line we should be able to pursue this matter along the lines of the spirit of the law regarding good governance and the rectitude of behaviour that we expect from our leaders.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problemis that the Anti-Corruption Law also repealed the relevant sections of the Penal Code which it was replacing. However, bribery and extortion are also common law offences and the Proceeds of Crime Law may also be relevant.    

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is clear to me why Arden was eager to work with the investigators, he had nothing to hide. This should be an example to anyone else that is being investigated. I believe Arden sleeps well at night.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask arden why PPM didnt make the Anti Corruption law come into effect during their term.

      • Anonymous says:

        We should be thanking them that they passed the Anti-Corruption Law and you should be asking McKeeva why he isn't properly funding the Anti-Corruption Commission.

  20. Cat says:

    Thank you very much Mr. Arden for setting a good example and taking responsibility for the matter and dealing with it with great transparency and honesty.

    I surely would love for McKeeva Bush to jump on transparency & honesty bandwagon soon as well,because the one he is riding on is falling apart.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr. McLean. Your proactive clearing of your name shows your quality as a man and as a politician. Unfortunately I can't see others now under investigation doing the same thing.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Mac, what you got to say now?

    Don't forget the saying, "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

  23. Knot S Smart says:

    This investigation has found that Mac said something that is a blatant lie?

    OMG who would have thought such a thing…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Arden!!!!!