ICTA ducks ‘Joey’ complaint

| 24/04/2013

joey (225x300)_1.jpg(CNS): Despite being responsible for managing content on radio and television broadcasts in Cayman, the Information Communication Technology Authority (ICTA) has declined to act in the face of a formal complaint about potentially libellous and defamatory comments being made by a political candidate on a show being aired Monday to Thursday evenings on a local radio station. North Side candidate Ezzard Miller filed a formal complaint with the ICTA about the abuse of him and his family by his political opponent Joey Ebanks on the local airwaves in contravention of the law, but the ICTA declined to investigate the allegations and has passed the complaint to VIBE, the show’s host station, which is owned by the UDP’s George Town committee chair, Kenny Rankin.

Miller also wrote to the police commissioner, the governor and the Elections Office about comments made on the show, which Ebanks has paid for and is using as part of his official campaign in his bid for election in North Side against Miller, the incumbent member.

Miller confirmed this week that he has received no replies from any of the agencies involved, despite what he says are serious breaches of the election law as well as the ICTA law. Miller said he has had no formal response from the ICTA and was merely included on an email from the ICTA to Rankin about the complaint, asking the radio station to deal with it.

Since then Miller has reported that response to the chair of the ICTA board, Dale Crighton, in an effort to trigger a formal investigation and some action against what appears to be an entirely unchecked regular tirade of insults as well as potentially libellous comments by Ebanks about Miller and his family, as well as other candidates, public officials, the governor, the chair of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and members of the media.

The show’s host is facing multiple counts of theft and fraud offences, having recently been arrested and charged in connection with his former role as the MD of the Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Since then Ebanks is alleging conspiracies against him and corruption in government. He has also accused the Dart Group of offering him a half million dollar bribe to fix the bid he had previously awarded them for future generating capacity while still MD. Among a long list of targets, Ebanks has taken particular aim at Miller and made some serious allegations against the North Side political representative which go well beyond accusations of potential corruption.

As a result, Miller said he had chosen to file formal complaints about Ebanks’ behaviour but he is disappointed with the failure of any government agency to take action, despite the contravention of several laws and the serious level of abuse Ebanks is hurling at him.

"I am particularly disappointed that the ICTA has chosen to handle what I regard as a serious complaint in such a trivial way, by sending the complaint to VIBE FM for them to respond directly to me,” Miller told CNS, adding that he had not even had any response from the station.

“This complaint is not about bad reception but is about potential serious offences under section 90 of the ICTA law, which carries penalties of a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for one year or on conviction on indictment to a fine of twenty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for two years.”

He said the Managing Director of the ICTA had abrogated the authority's legal responsibility to investigate his complaint by simply passing it to the management of VIBE FM, as he called on the ICTA Board to fulfil its legal responsibility under the ICTA law and request an explanation from the MD as to why he responded in this way.

“It is going to be very interesting to see how the Elections Office responds to the complaint made in accordance with section 75 of the election law given the coming of inspectors,” Miller added. “They certainly acted quickly in contacting me about a complaint Joey made against me and the committee to elect me, although it was not properly done or any evidence provided."

The Elections Office said Thursday that it did have very real concerns about the show, which, as a paid to air programme by a candidate in the election, fell under their remit and the election code of conduct. Officials said that they would be issuing a written statement to remind all candidates of the code of conduct but that they were paying close attention to the Ebanks show and may have to deal with that directly.

Miller said that, given the gravity of the comments Ebanks persistantly makes, the move by the ICTA to do nothing but hand his letter of complaint to VIBE succeeding in fuelling a further tirade by Ebanks on his show last week when he was given a copy of Miller’s complaint.

In his letter to Crighton Miller wrote: “The procedure that I expected the Managing Director to have followed after he received my complaint was to have requested copies of all the 'Joey Ebanks Show' since it started on April 2, 2013, then to have listened to the shows as part of his investigation of the complaint, andif he found evidence to support the complaint, to have then acted within the provisions of section 32 of the ICTA law.”

However, Miller said, despite the severity of his complaint and the nature of the Joey Ebanks Show, he was “concerned and disappointed” that the ICTA action had “served to expose me to further libellous and slanderous comment” as well as threats to his security.

“I am quite amazed that the Authority would ask VIBE FM to respond directly to me and not to the Authority. Even so, it is obvious that VIBE FM's response is to turn over the complaint to Joey Ebanks — the very subject of the complaint — and to blithely ignore any ICTA procedure to respond to the complainant," he added.

“It is also clear that the ICTA has chosen to act in a way that aids and assists in the continued breach of section 90 of the ICTA law, section 15 of VIBE FM's license and other laws of the Cayman Islands, and I am forced to seek all legal remedy against the ICTA that my attorney may advise,” Miller warned as he threatened to join what is a growing list of legal actions against Ebanks for his continued on air allegations.

“I am therefore seeking your intervention as Chairman of the Board to ensure that this matter is treated with the seriousness it demands and in a much more professional and appropriate way in accordance with the provisions of the ICTA law,” he wrote, adding that as a result of the ICTA’s decision, he was also releasing all of his correspondence on the matter into the public domain.

See Miller's letters below and email from the ICTA to VIBE.

The Joey Ebanks Radio Shows are all available on YouTube as well via his Facebook page.

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Category: Politics

Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    the ICTA can't act because the board is made up of UDP cronies. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did Mac appoint rankin to any board this last go around? Just wondering

  3. Anonymous says:

    I will be withdrawing all,my advertising on the station effective immediately as well as not support anyone business who is on the board, this man is slandering people and I will not support that.
    Mr. Rankin shame on you, we thought a lot better from you and your family, to be honest you in my humble opinion, you are just a cheap ….. For,sale have some morals. I am not sure what relationship you have with the UDP but believe me when I say it will effect you and your business if you do not stop this ASAP…….

    • SSM345 says:

      " I am not sure what relationship you have with the UDP".

      I am pretty sure what relationship he has seeing as the UDP HQ is located in Rankin Plaza, free of charge too I would imagine.

  4. Huldah says:

    Can Joey repeat the 2008 Person of the Year award he got from CNN?

    Come on CNS, let's award this to Joey for all the laughs I/we get everyday while listening to him on VIBE. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Give me a J! O! E! yyyyyyY!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I've said it before. The man is an idiot. Just turn the radio off! Vibe sucks anyway, Kenny is kissing macs XXX that's why Joey is spouting off there…. XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm not afraid – to take a stand – EVERYBODY – come take my hand – we'll walk this road together – through the storm – whatever weather – cold or warm – Just let you know that – you're not alone – Holla if you feel that you'ce been down the same road.

  6. Anonymous says:

    How desperate must VIBE FM be to stoop this low for a dollar.  This is pretty bad even by their standards.  You are truly known by the company you keep.  I guess HOT FM must have changed their world forever.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bizarre rants?  Paranoia?  Periods of intense manic behaviour?  An apparent sense of invincibility?  What causes that sort of behaviour?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Of course Mr Ebanks is working for UDP because no other radio station wouldnt give him the time of the day. And with all of  the information that he is claiming that he has he has to be getting it from some where.Becasue the hands dont turn  on you because  it has happen many times before and you are left standing on your own. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    It's about time all this slander is stopped by law. Included in this, there should be no immunity from prosecution for those who slander in the House. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    It can't be slanderous. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is correct.  Defamation in a radio broadcast is libel not slander.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have that reversed – libel is always written, slander is spoken or in this case broadcast as spoken words.

        • Anonymous says:

          No my friend you need to learn more about the distinction between slander and libel.  Even if the voice on air was "verbal" the whole thing was recorded and published for a radio broadcast and can be played over and over.  This is a classic case of Libel.

           

  11. Anonymous says:

    All public authorities must comply with the law.

    ICTA personnel are public servants and therefore subject to the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of the Public Service Managment Law and the citizens of this country have rights in relation to the conduct of the ICTA under sections 7, 19 and 24 of the Bill of Rights.

    The ICTA has procedures for hearing complaints and those procedures must comply with the Bill of Rights.

    Ezzard is entitled to a fair hearing of his complaints of unlawful activity by the ICTA.

    Section 19(1) of the Bill of Rights requires the ICTA to respond to allegations of unlawful conduct in a manner that is 'proportionate'. Doing nothing, IF that is what happened, in response to an allegation of unlawful activity in an area in which the ICTA has competence does not seem proportionate on the face of what is reported here.

    Ezzard has the right to require the ICTA to justify their actions in writing pursuant to s.19(2) of the Bill of Rights.

    Go for it Ezzard.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just Ezzard has rights.  I have heard Joeys rants on the evening talk show and they are nothing short of scandalous.  ICTA should be obliged to do something regardless of Ezzard's complaint.  They should be listening to this crap that is being put on air.  His rants are insulting and slanderous to many, and he turns out to be quite the racist against the expat community.  In other places, broadcasts such as this would be banned from going on air.  The content of his rants is nothing short of disgusting, and he is a complete embarrassment to Cayman and its people.  Of course, given all these slanderous comments have been broadcast on air, this is a classic case of Libel, not slander, and ICTA should be compelled to do something about it.

  12. Peanuts says:

    Decent people act decently. Money does not buy class. A sad day for Cayman, the proud history of past generations.

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    Joey is correct when he says that there is corruption in Cayman.

     

    Of course, he is a big part of the problem, not the solution.

     

    Sadly, he reinforces the exat opinion that Cayman is ruled by a bunch of Beverly Hillbillies.

  14. Anonymous says:

    No one likes glen beck either, but the controversy keeps him relevant. Turn off you radio if you don’t want to hear it!

    • Anonymous says:

      "No one likes Glen Beck"? I'm sure you can't back that up. However, you are right when you say "Turn off you radio if you don't want to hear it!"

  15. Anonymous says:

    "Libellous and defamatory"?

  16. Anonymous says:

    CNS please note that we no longer have MLA's as the House has been dissolved. While your stories are credible, the use of the acronym MLA'S at the current time should not be used. Just thought I would share for everyone's edification. You can be assured though that Ezzard wil be returned as the MLA'S for North Side and sworn in on May 29, 2013 along with the other independents that will form the next government.

     

    CNS: You're right. I have changed it to "candidate".

    • Anonymous says:

      But they are still being paid as MLAs up until May 22. Their pay should been terminated on Nomiantion Day for the non-Cabinet MLA s and the ones in Cabinet should have their salary reduced after Nomination Day as the House of Assembly has now been dissolved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re they are still being paid. If this is fact I will be shocked and mystified. They are no longer MLAs so how can they be paid! I left my job, and nobody is still,paying me.. Can anyone explain how this works?

  17. Anonymous says:

    It is amazing that when Joey was gainfully employed he seemed to have financial problems…but since he resigned he can aford 4 hours of air time per week.

     

     

  18. Anonymous says:

         Just wondering if the ICTA falls under the ambit of the Complaints Commissioner? If it does ,then Ezzard should try that angle.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knows where Joey is coming from and where he is going. Sad to say he ie doing a good job of covering the UDPs backside.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think it would be fun for you to try and interview Dale Crighton about this.

    • Anonymous says:

      This information was taken from the ICTA website:

       

      Mr Dale Crighton holds Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a minor in Finance. He is the managing partner of a number of real estate based companies within the Crighton Group with other business interests in heavy equipment, construction, insurance and more recently, interests in tourism based, restaurant and security related businesses. As a local partner in the former AT&T Wireless (Cayman), Dale Crighton was also instrumental in the establishment and build out of AT&T Wireless (Cayman) in the Cayman Islands in 2002-2003. Other telecommunication experiences include past involvement in other ICTA licensed companies Blue Sky Wireless and Blue Sky Communications.

       

      According to the ICTA website, Blue Sky Wireless had their license REVOKED by the ICTA on 30 June 2009. It would be interested to know if Dale has declared interest in any other licensed businesses that come before the ICTA. Perhaps the ICTA have adopted the CIAA model of governance.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if it occurred to anyone on the board that this could be referred to the police as well as VIBE?

      • The Justice League says:

        If I recall correctly, Mr. Crighton’s business interest, before June 2009 was no more (I could be wrong). So, this mention may not be cause for alarm. Furthermore, revocation of an ICTA license does not necessarily mean the company did something illegal or wrong. However, a clarification by the ICTA on this, while not a must, would be most welcome.

        Just my 2ยข before the herd mentality rises in these comments.

        T.J.L.

  21. Philo the Philosopher says:

    I never thought that I would ever see the day, when some of those people whom at one time I greatly respected and admired would in recent times  become such political ass kissers that they would ignore all honesty, integrity and character,  to such an extent that they have now relegated themselves to "something less than dishonorable".  

  22. Anonymous says:

    It's a great show Joey ! Hang on in there

     

  23. Rorschach says:

    Sounds like a good case for judicial review..

  24. Anonymous says:

    The lyrics of theme song for the Joey Ebanks show  are about recovery and rehab.  Isn't that ironic (and moronic)?

     

  25. yup says:

    What a 3rd World we live in. I also reported two politicians in Bodden Town for serving alcohol at their public meeting to minors and nothing has been done as yet. In fact they did it again.

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard, don't worry about Joey. It is obvious that he is suffering from a combination of issues, which has combined to create one of the most embarrasing situations we have ever come across. It is obvious to many of us that Joey is so desperate to cling to a straw in hopes, that he will be able to gain a seat in Parliament. 

    I suspect, like last election season, once he has been turned down, yet again, he will fade away. But, this time he has other more pressing issues to deal with. One would have thought that he would be more concerned about the allegations against him, and he would be at least trying to potray to the contrary.

     

  27. Anonymous says:

    I hate VIBE FM. I see no other radio station doing this bull shit so boldly! They are STR8 up UDP! They should be impartial! Neutral! I'm sure not all of their clients are UDP supporters. Just imagine how much business they have lost?! I'm looking forward to seeing that frequency off my dash in the near future!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed!

    • Anonymous says:

      The way to change is to act. If you disagree and give them revenue, stop it. If you agree, keep up the support, but act.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm not being a troll. And I don't care about the 15 thumbs down. For all I know, I'll be reading about you all soon! Who in their right mind sees nothing wrong here?!

       

      You all are daft. I like this though. Don't know if it's because of the lot of independents running for office this time, but who ever holding the torch that blowing fire through the underground holes that's causing the rats to scatter- I say hold it CLOSER!!! Keep up the pressure!!! Now Legal, do your part and let's put these people away!!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn't someone be investigating the allegations in relation to our anti-corruption law and the UK bribery act?

  29. Anonymous says:

    another institution with no teeth? Might as well disband them for all the good they are..

    • Anonymous says:

      Disband them yes, XXXX the stacking of regulatory authorities ensures that action is only taken against your enemies, and for your friends. Might seem natural, but it is counter to any moral code.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The (eductated?) fool is running interefence for the UDP!

    I have no doubts about corruption and conspiracy at the highest levels of this country.  But I will only take Joey seriously when he starts saying negative things about the UDP. Did anyone else notice that UDP has not been the target of his tirades?  He talks about corruption but ignores the allegations the former Premier used the Government credit card at the Casino!  One would have thought that when he had Mac and Helium on the show, he should have asked them for details of the "Final" agreement since the one in the public domain was only a framework document.