CoP says Dart $5m legal

| 04/05/2012

dart shovels_0.JPG(CNS): Updated with premier's comments — The police commissioner has confirmed that the Dart group has not committed any offence in connection with a $5 million donation that the company gave to government as part of the controversial ForCayman Investment Alliance. Following a complaint to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) by independent MLA Ezzard Miller, who questioned under what circumstances the cash payment was made, David Baines, in his role as chair of the ACC, wrote to Dart Management on Monday stating that the investigation was concluded and there was no evidence of a crime. The premier described the complaint as "political mischief making" and an "unfortunate waste of time".

The letter from the commissioner which was sent to Mark Vandevelde and Jackie Doak made it clear that the parties had cooperated with the enquiry, as Baines thanks them for supplying all of the necessary information.

In correspondence akin to that sent recently to Arden McLean thanking him for his cooperation regarding the complaint that he had not paid his CUC bills when he was a Cabinet minister, Baines acknowledged the assistance he received from Dart “to expedite this matter”. The McLean investigation was triggered by McKeeva Bush who reported the former Cabinet member to the anti-corruption commission as Bush claimed, McLean had not paid his CUC bills for one year while he was negotiating the licensing agreement with the local power firm.

McLean was also cleared after a few weeks having provided the commission with voluntary access to all the necessary documents and information to speed up the enquiry.

This latest complaint was made to the commission by Miller as he said it was not transparent as no invoice or explanation had been given for the early $5 million cash payment which, according to government and Dart, was an advance on a $20 million donation promised for community projects.

Government has said the cash forms part of a land swap and investment deal surrounding Dart’s plans for the property it owns around the West Bay Road and a new five star resort on the site of the former Courtyard Marriott.

The issue was questioned by Miller because the money was handed over before the main deal with Dart has been signed and as part of a preliminary deal to facilitate the start of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension ahead of the proposed closure of a 4,000 foot strip of the West Bay Road. With activists still campaigning against the closure, the crown land issue not yet sorted and an independent audit of the deal still underway, the signing of the early deal was treated with some suspicion.

When McKeeva Bush announced that he intended to give a quarter of a million dollars of the money to his preferred candidate in East End in order to implement community projects in that district, suspicions about the parameters of the payment were raised.

Miller asked to see the invoice from government which Dart was paying that could explain the $5 million cash donation. The premier also launched the start of a mortgage assistance programme with the money, which will help Caymanians who are facing repossession of their homes.

In response to the commissioner’s letter, a spokesperson for Dart said “given the open and transparent process that this contract with government underwent, the findings do not surprise Dart Realty’s Executive Team.”

Dart said it was releasing the letter, however, as a result of Miller’s on going allegations of corruption and his repeated calls for “an invoice” in order to put an “end to the often irresponsible speculation about the validity of the process and legitimacy of this contribution to the community.”

According to a release from government yesterday regarding the audit of the NRA-government deal with Dart, if the independent review does not show value for money and government rejects the deal, the investor will be able to recoup the $5 million via development concessions.

in the wake of the commissioner's clearance of Dart, the premeir said government was pleased to see the commission affirm the legitimacy of the Dart contribution.

"This letter from the ACC proves that the funding of community investments through the NRA Agreement has been done in full compliance of the laws and regulations, and that the political mischief making is an unfortunate waste of time and resources that could
be better used addressing real problems and real needs in our community," he said. "In these challenging economic times, the UDP Government stands by the NRA Agreement and the ForCayman Investment Alliance as an innovative, win-win partnership for the good of the Cayman Islands,” Bush added

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Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    12:28 its not a generous gift, we are being robbed.  The swap deal should cost more than a mere $20mio, it should be more like $150mio.  We the people and the crown, were robbed!  20mio is a drop in the bucket.

    • Anonymous says:

      06:56

      Can you tell the peopleof the Cayman Islands  how you arrived at 150 million dollar, for the swamp land swapped for the piece of road property.And let us know how we the people and the crown were robbed.

       

  2. The sheep says:

    To; on Fri, 05/04/2012 – 14:13.  I never heard of a sheep in wolves clothing.  The saying goes, A wolf in sheep clothing.  Anyway, I never saw Ezzard in any animal clothing. I always see him in white cotton shirts.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is unfortunate that when the Dart Droup made the decision to release the letter to the media they, did not block out the names of its employees.Unfortunate because as was stated by Mrs Doak on CITN ,their names will always be linked to this Anti Corruption Inquiry.However this cannot be blamed on Ezzard,since the decision to release this letter was made by the Dart Group and not Mr Miller.I would just like to quote a coupleof  old sayings  "If you go to sleep with dogs ,you could wake up with fleas"and,  "people judge you by the company that you keep" In other words ,this inquiry came about because of McKeeva's stated intention to use some of the funds to get a particular politicion elected in East End.This caused inquiring minds to ask if this was indeed Dart's intended use of these funds. Since the Dart Group has been cleared of wrongdoing ,this should be looked at  by them as a positive thing.

  4. Annoymous says:

    Well , please accept my apology on behalf of Ezzie.  Can we now move on to another topic? And my sincerest apology to the Premier and Arden too. Now let's move on to some uplifting points.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You people will never be happy, Cyamanians will always find something to fight each other over which is why they are no longer the masters in thier own Country…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Anon 11:55 So you believe what the Premier says? What should be reported in this investigation is so far what was the money spent on with proven documentation and who was it paid too? XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      22;10

      Yes i have to believe what he said. For your information, he never handled the money. it was paid into the Public service department. Read, read, read, and stop the street gossiping. it is getting stink.and you guys are looking more like fools everyday.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whether or not it was paid into the "public service department" is no indication whatsoever as to what it was actually spent on or who exactly benefited from it. Remember we have a 'nation building' fund that one single church in Cayman benefited from to the tune of $2 million while dozens of others were left to trust in their God. Surely we don't need to tell you who attends THAT church and where it is located.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I'm mistaken but I don't think Ezzard thought that DART was doing something wrong.  I think it was a question of where did the money go?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lots of calls on here for Ezzard to apologise to Dart but I don't recall a single one for McKeeva to apologise to Arden. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The McKeeva – Arden back and forth was between politicians the Ezzard – Dart is different in that it is a political move toward a private business. What on the surface looks similar is actually very much different.

      • Anonymous says:

        So wasn’t CUC a private business? A man’s reputation is a man’s reputation. Being a politician does not make your reputation less valuable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it's because Arden can't give us nice presents like Mr. Dart does. Dear God we have an nation half full of itiots.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It would only be appropiate given the complaint made to the Anticorruption Commission by Ezzard Miller, the commission responding to the complaint by making an investigation and confirming that Dart did nothing wrong that Ezzard Miller would now apologize to the Dart Group publically and for Ezzard to man up for his past mistaken statements.

    I don't think Ezzard will do it as he is much like McKeeva.

  10. Laammbert says:

    Ezzard Miller- a sheep in wolves clothing.

    • Numbers says:

      Premier eat unna suppah when the real deficit hits the media.TICK TOCK…………

       

       

  11. Anonymous says:

    I'll bet Austin is not going to be a "happy camper" come Monday Morning…God only help us on Super Tuesday with the Great Instigator!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hush,,they won't say a thing about this…it will all be McKeeva come Monday and Tuesday..He gave them enough this week to keep the show going all next week.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it wasn't technically illegal but we can be certain it wasn't used to equally benefit all the people of this country, whether or not that was the intention. I wish to God Almighty that the Cayman Islands would maintain a strictly business relationship with Dart rather than all these sweetheart deals and swaps and concessions and give aways that are always made to APPEAR as if they are benefiting the Cayman people as a whole. Business is business, Cayman. Love is bull s_it, and the bottom line is we are getting a whole lot of bull s_it in the form of love offerings. It needs to STOP, Cayman. PERIOD.    

  13. Truth Hurts says:

    Mr. Dart – thank you for the generous gift to the island. It is confirmed however that the gift is not at issue. It is what is done with it and how it is handled that is.

    Any decent Premier should in turn be telling the public (that's us) what he intends to do with this generous gift and how it will be used to benefit CAYMAN (not Mr. Bush, but CAYMAN). Time (yet again) for some accounting and accountability please.

    Time for an FOI or perhaps the Auditor to have a look?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Prayer Changes Things

    One is over, two to go. I will not cease to pray for the Premier and those who try to tear him down. One thing is for sure is that we need to be careful how we treat each other and rejoice when things go wrong as "our day is coming". Let us stirve for peace, unity and love in this our Island, count our blessings and remember that it does't matter how powerful we think we are, there is someone with greater power. Premier, the battle is not yours it's the Lord's.

  15. Anonymous says:

    As Andy would say…TAKE DAT!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. DART, thank you for what you do for us in the Cayman Islands. As a Caymanian, I apologize for all of us because I know that Ezzard won't have the b#lls to do so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard, as well as every soul in Cayman, hasthe right to do exactly what he did, with no reason on earth to apologise to anyone. So please speak for your self if you need to apologise for something. I DON'T need to and I am sure Ezzard doesn't need to, and I am quite certain if he did he would have more than enough b#lls to do so.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yay!! He solved one!

  18. Anonymous says:

    The point is being missed again and again, dart giving the money is fine, what was the money used for, friends and cronies?

    Point A to point B was legal, fine. Where did it go after that??????

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm.. are you saying that Ezzard should call for an investigation of the investigation??

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 10;04 I dont know where you ears were when the Premier publicaly anounced where this fund went. Try another tactic. All of caymanians should be friends as far as

      Now I'm concerned… are you one of them trying to segregate us?  so if it were spent on Caymanians, then yes, it was spent on friends….what's so wrong about that? maybe you already have your home paid for,but think about your brothers and sisters that need assistance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you  05/04/2012 – 10:04!!!  Even the ComPol seems to have missed the point.  At issue is how and for what was the money, which was legally donated by Dart, used gpt by the Premier and his government.

  19. Slowpoke says:

    Will Mr. Miller apologize verbally or in writing?

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably in the same way that McKeeva apologised to Arden.

    • Anonymous says:

      He has nothing to apologise for. It is every citizen's right, in a fair and democratic country, to call into question the actions of elected representatives and government in general. Without questioning individuals there can be no transparancy and trust in a government.

      • Anonymous says:

        If that was Ezzard's objective I would be fine with your answer. Based though, strictly on my observations of Ezzard  with regards to DART, I just have a hard time believing it was.

    • Scottish,Irish,Jamacian born CAYMANIAN says:

      Apologise for what?……. for asking a question?… you must be fool to think that we, as a people, who ever it may be, does not have a right to ask a question to establish truth

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 10;40 you can twist it around as much as you want.   It was a witch hunt against the Premier. All you can do now is  lick your wounds and pull your tails in. you got more to come though!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are naive if you think it was a simple question.   It was a question that was dripping with innuendo that Dart had done something wrong or hurtful to the people of the Cayman Islands.

        Dart has become a target for some politicians who use xenophobia as a vote getting tool.

        • Anonymous says:

          Kenneht Dart is a foreigner, therefore any criticism of the dart group is rooted in xenophobia.  Nice logic there pal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you ask McKeeva to apologise to Arden McLean?

  20. PleaseNow says:

    For the life of us all, Mr Ezzard I am begging you please calm down.  Why are you people so against Dart, when he has only done good in this Island.  Stop letting outside/non Caymanians push you up a wall against this man. 

    Are the bunch of you so blind for power that you cannot see you are dampening the spiritis of your people and ruining the island.    It worries me that people are speaking hatred for what is being done.   Remember where we are coming from  Mr Ezzard and Mr Arden and all the other secret people who are starting fires.   You are not doing anything good, but allowing the world to sit back fold their hands and wait for you all to open your mouth with a pile of unfounded crap again.  Wake up and be men in stead of Power hungry people going to slaughter.  Alden McLaughlin has calmed down a bit because he realizes that Dart has done no harm to anyone.  But let Ezzard call all the shots.   My friend it is not doing you any good. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Few people give anything away for nothing and you can be sure that Dart did not "donate" $5K if he didn't see where he would benefit from doing so. AND, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!  He wouldn't have $5K to donate if he wasn't astute!  Regardless of reasons for the donation I would think that Dart would want to know how the money is being used by the government. Didn't it have some stipulation attached? Was this amount of money simply given to the Premier to do as he wishes with it? Hummmm.  I can see why Miller would question this, as we all should.

      • Anonymous says:

        21;05

         

        Hmmmm you sound to be well educated, should'nt you hold that as your good standard?

        To follow this scandulous crowd, Would you give somthing away and get nothing in return? the dumbest of person would understand this.

        Dont you think Dart wouldnt know where and how the money was spent. Let me say this, he did not give this money to Makeeva, and you know damn well he didnt, he gave it to the Caymanian people.

        Your aim is to try and destroy this man. your lies, propaganda, gossiping and slandering will not take him out. he is much smarter than any of you Harvard University goons out there.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Greasing our government is not only legal, it's encouraged!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller is a destructive force in Cayman, blinded by his hatred of the Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 08;22

      And rich expats! makes one wonder who will work with him should he gets in as leader.

  23. Anonymous says:

    If I was DART I would ask to have Ezzard investigated for repeatedly running down his organization like it's some criminal headquarters.

  24. Anonymous says:

    OMG..Ezzard is going to have a stroke!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It'll be nothing compared to what Mac will have when that UK hammer strikes very shortly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I never felt that the Dart Group did anything wrong in making this donation instead I thank them for it but my question has been whether or not the money could simply be dished out willy nilly once it was deposited in the government's financial account. If it was a donation to the UDP then they could do with it as they wish but if it was donated directly to the government then that is a different matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a hell of a lot more concerned as to what happens to the 5 million now. buy votes? buy dynomite?