Archive for May 20th, 2013

Pines is assisting police, board chair confirms

| 20/05/2013 | 12 Comments

(CNS): Allegations that the board and management are attempting to protect the former manager who was dismissed from the Pines Retirement Home several weeks ago have been emphatically denied by the board chair. In a statement outlining events since the financial irregularities came to light and efforts to recover what was described as a material amount of funds missing from the homes coffers, Julian Reddyhough said the board was assisting the police and had made a report on 10 May to the FCU. The RCIPS told CNS that no report had been received on the same day. Denying any cover-up, the board said it was concerned about the theft and the impact it may have on future fundraising.

“We are concerned that misunderstandings about the response from our board to the financial irregularities that have recently been uncovered may damage the reputation of The Pines to the detriment of our elderly residents,” Reddyhough said. “We are not a secretive organization and believe in transparency and honesty.”

In an effort to address what he said were “inaccuracies and misunderstandings” in the comments posted on Cayman News Service, Reddyhough set out in a statement posted below the information relating to the case that he felt comfortable would not prejudice any criminal prosecution. 

“Our board has certainly not sought to protect our former Manager. Indeed, as a Board we feel betrayed and angry that financial irregularities may prejudice our future fund raising abilities and support in the community. For that reason, we are determined that all missing funds are recovered, that we provide all possible assistance to the police and that we disclose what has occurred to the extent possible,” he added.

Cataloging the chain of events from the discovery of the irregularities in April when the manger was on leave, Reddyhough said the board was not satisfied with the answers given by her in an email exchange and an emergency board meeting was convened on 17 April, when it was decided to terminate the former manager and take steps to recover the cash and undertake a forensic investigation for the police.

“Any suggestion of a 'cover-up' is unfounded,” he said, noting that the police were contacted before the CNS article suggested a report had not been made.

However, CNS had contacted the RCIPS and enquired about a report and were told several times that no report had been made, including on the day the report was filed. We also contacted the chair of the board and the Pines home via email and telephone but received no response.

“It will be for the police and not the Board of The Pines to determine whether to proceed with a criminal prosecution and, if necessary, extradition. We will provide the police with whatever assistance they require,” Reddyhough said indicating that Nicholson still remains out of the country.

The chair said that the board was confident that it could recover the missing cash without litigating, and although there is no final figure at present as the forensic review is ongoing, the sums identified are material and would be disclosed when available.

Addressing conflict of interest allegations, Reddyhough said that he had retired in 2009 as a partner of Maples and Calder, the firm which is assisting the retirement home to recover the money. . 

“There is no conflict in their performance of that role and my position as a retired partner of that firm. Maples have also generously agreed to undertake their work on a pro-bono basis, thus saving us many thousands of dollars of legal fees,” he said, adding that the former manager’s husband left KPMG in 1990.

“To suggest that an organization of KPMG’s standing would improperly undertake a forensic review to protect the spouse of an employee who left 23 years ago is, quite simply, silly,” the chair stated as he pointed to the services KPMG were also supplying pro-bono.

See full statement below.

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Cayman flag flies on world’s highest mountain

| 20/05/2013 | 14 Comments

manning.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands flag is now fluttering in the exceptionally chilly breezes of the world’s highest mountain after a local attorney summited Everest on Sunday. At around 7:30pm 19 May (Cayman time) Guy Manning, along with Nacer Ibnabdeljalil, Guy Munnoch and Sherpas Dawa Gelji, Tashi and Karma reached the top of the famous peak as part of his Seven Summits Challenge in aid of the local cancer society. The climbers were believed to have left the final camp around midnight Nepal time to make their push to the top in time for the sunrise. Manning was part of the Jagged Globe 24-member climbing team who all reached the top over this past weekend. Manning and his small group are believed to have already safely reached Camp 4 and to be enjoying a well-earned rest.

“It’s an amazing achievement and we’re very proud of Guy,” a spokesperson for Campbells, Manning’s firm, said Monday.

The team will now recuperate after their tremendous efforts before leaving for Camp 2 in the morning and then on to Base Camp the following day.  According to Jagged Globe website, the Sherpa team will clear Camp 4 tomorrow and will carry down over a hundred empty oxygen bottles, seven tents, stoves, rubbish as well as their own personal equipment.

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Agents must be sworn before polls open

| 20/05/2013 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Elections Office is issuing a reminder that candidates' agents must be sworn in before the polls open on Wednesday and at the correct polling station, otherwise they will not be allowed to enter any polling or counting stations. Officials from the office said agents will only be sworn in at their assigned stations where their identification badges have been delivered and, as a result of the large numbers of agents appointed, they must be at their respective polling stations by no later than 6:00am. Candidates must advise the Elections Office by 5pm Tuesday 21 May which stations their elections agents will be attending so identification badges can be sent to the stations for collection.

"Elections Office staff have had to work for an inordinate period over the past week and throughout the weekend in order to bring some semblance of order to the many appointment of agents applications, many of which were incomplete,” the election office stated in a release. 

“Returning officers urged candidates from Nomination Day to appoint their agents early in order to avoid just such a situation arising. It should be noted that any agent appointed who has completed an application for a postal ballot or mobile voting on behalf of an elector or witnessed an electors signature on such forms is guilty of an offence,” the officials warned

The office said that this also applies to candidates and the votes of any person whose postal ballot was witnessed by someone who is now an agent will be rejected. “This is another reason why returning officers and the Elections Office urged candidates to appoint agents early,” the office noted.

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