Search Results for 'mckeeva bush doctorate'

Bush denies buying $1M PhD

| 17/05/2013 | 118 Comments

mac degree.jpg(CNS): The leader of the UDP and former premier has denied any knowledge of a $1 million donation given to the University College of the Caribbean in connection with the honorary doctorate that the college was to bestow on him before his untimely arrest last December. In a statement released to the media in the wake of CNS' headlinestory on Thursday night revealing the details of the donation and the police investigation now underway, McKeevaBush said he knew nothing of the donation and this was the first he had ever heard of it. He said that it was no coincidence that he was arrested just before he was due to go to Jamaica to receive this award and the report was part of a continuing campaign by the Cayman governor, the opposition and others to influence the outcome of the election.

However, the college confirmed to CNS last week that the gift it received was in connection with the honorary doctorate it had planned to give to Bush but that it had been returned given the circumstances. The Anti-Corruption Commission and the police also confirmed that the issue was now the subject of yet another investigation against Bush.

Bush categorically denied any wrongdoing and insisted he knew nothing of the circumstances of the loan, in a statement in which he implied CNS was also part of a conspiracy against him. He said the report regarding the money that paid for the anticipated doctorate allegedly by a New York bank was just part of the ever-growing conspiracy to prevent him not only from being elected but to remove him from the electoral process altogether.

Despite the allegations made by Bush, CNS can confirm it has no connections to the governor's office, the police commissioner, the opposition or other candidates.

"CNS has taken an editorial position to push for transparency and accountability in government," said CNS journalist, Wendy Ledger. "Ignoring this story would have been to neglect our duties as members of the news media."

See Bush's statement in full below.

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Bush talked on ‘integrity’

| 13/12/2012 | 76 Comments

Dr Mac Bush.jpg(CNS): The University College of the Caribbean confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Cayman Islands premier was delivering the commencement address that evening at the institution’s graduation ceremony but would not be receiving the honorary doctorate.The college said that McKeeva Bush had been rescheduled to speak, but despite reports in the Jamaican media that he was to get the special degree, the UCC said that was not the case. Bush, who is currently on police bail following his arrest on Tuesday and two days of questioning by the RCIPS in connection with an on-going corruption investigation, spoke on the theme "Integrity: the Language of Leadership". 

The embattled premier, who, despite mounting pressure, has categorically stated that he has done nothing wrong and will not resign as premier, left Cayman early this morning on a Cayman Airways flight to Jamaica. Soon after his departure his office released a short statement in which Bush professed his innocence and said he was intending to honour his commitment to UCC.

“My fellow Caymanians and residents, as you are aware, I was scheduled to travel to Jamaica on Wednesday 12th Decemeber for the conferral of an honorary doctorate upon myself and to give the commencement address to the student body at the University College of the Caribbean. I feel obligated to honor this commitment and have decided to attend.  I will be returning to the island this Friday,” Bush stated.

In a statement delivered in the wake of Bush’s announcement that he would not be resigning from office, the opposition leader said he was treating the matter of his arrest with utter impunity and was determined to return to business as usual, pointing to Bush’s decision to still go to Jamaica and speak about integrity, despite his circumstances.

The premier was arrested at his home in West Bay on Tuesday in connection with on-going police investigations that relate to the misuse of a government credit card as well as the premier’s connection to a consignment of explosives imported by local firm Midland Acres without the necessary permits.

Suresh Prasad, the MD of that firm who has already been convicted of four counts in Summary Court relating to the importation, was also re-arrested this week and questioned by police.

The premier is suspected of theft, breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest, and although released from custody yesterday afternoon, he has been bailed by police to return for further questioning in February. In the meantime, the police have confirmed that the investigations continue both here and overseas.

At the time of Bush’s arrest the authorities also seized computers, books and other related items from his home and office.

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CI premier may still get honorary Jam doctorate

| 12/12/2012 | 26 Comments

phd_degree_mug (276x300).jpg(CNS): The dean of the University College of the Caribbean has confirmed that the institution has had to change its arrangements for Thursday’s commencement ceremony as a result of the arrest of the Cayman Islands premier; however, it may still bestow an honorary doctorate at a later date.McKeeva Bush was scheduled to give an address on integrity at the ceremony when he was also set to receive a Doctor of Public Service degree for his years of service as Cayman’s longest serving legislator. Bush was described by the college as a friend of Jamaica who took risks on behalf of Jamaicans living in Cayman.

Dr Herbert Thompson, chancellor of the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), told the Gleaner Tuesday that Bush had done a lot of things for Jamaica and other nationalities who were struggling in Cayman. "He did some risky things and the Jamaicans there will sing his praises every day," Thompson told the Jamaican press.  He said that Bush had made his presence felt at a time when several Jamaicans living in Cayman were without status or citizenship. He was referring to the 2003 status grants, when close to 3000 people were given the right to be Caymanian, many of whom were Jamaicans who had lived and worked in the Cayman Islands, in some cases for decades, with no rights.

Bush was taken into custody by police Tuesday in connection with a corruption investigation. The police revealed more than 18 months ago that Bush was under investigation over financial irregularities. Then in April of this year, following comments by the governor that there was a second probe into Bush, the police commissioner confirmed the RCIPS were investigating two further matters relating to the premier confirming that three separate enquiries were on-going.

However, Thompson appeared to believe that Bush's arrest, days before he was to be conferred with the honorary degree, was political. "We don't know what this is about. A lot of what is happening is a political thing, and the timing could not have been worse," he said, adding that while the arrest had forced the university to alter its plan it had not ruled out conferring the honour at a later date.

“We will make some adjustments, but we are not passing any judgement and we hope that whatever difficulties they have will blow over and the truth will come out," he stressed.  "We had made it clear as to why we felt that McKeeva Bush was a good person to be a commencement speaker," Thompson said." McKeeva Bush, as premier, deserves his day in court like any other person."

Local personality Robert Hamaty, the retired Jamaica honorary consul to Cayman, told The Gleaner that many people in Cayman were shocked by the arrest. "It is a sad day,” Hamaty told the paper. “No matter who it is or what it is, it is not a nice situation to have your first premier under investigation…I don't think anybody expected it to come to this. It is a sad day, but we can't say anything until we hear what is happening. A person is not guilty until convicted," he added.

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Regional university gives Mac honorary doctorate

| 03/12/2012 | 133 Comments

Premier Bush delivering his address.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier is to receive an honorary doctorate degree in public service from the University College of the Caribbean, officials said in a release Monday. McKeeva Bush will receive the special qualification at the university’s commencement ceremony next week in Kingston, when he is expected to speak on the subject of Integrity. Announcing the award, the UCC pointed to his years of public service and efforts to improve the lives of Jamaicans in Cayman, in particular, the “politically risky but principled decisions which Bush made to improve the standing of many expatriates” with the granting of Caymanians status in 2003 to almost 3,000 long term residents in Cayman, of which a considerable number were Jamaican.

In a press release the university also said that Bush had made continued efforts to improve the “relationship between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands". It also acknowledged Bush’s status as “Father of the House”, the longest serving legislator in Cayman, having served as a member of the Legislative Assembly continuously since 1984.

Although some here in Cayman are likely to disagree, the university stated that Bush’s party was credited with steering Cayman back to a path of recovery and viability following the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, when Bush was leader of government business, as well as minister of tourism. Bush was LoGB at the time of Ivan in September 2004 but he lost the May 2005 election to the PPM, the administration that presided over the vast majority of the infrastructure redevelopment. Ironically, Bush is believed to have lost the 2005 election largely because of the “status grant” giveaways.

As a result of his award, Bush will address UCC’s Fall 2012 Commencement Ceremony under the theme "Integrity: the Language of Leadership".

This will be the premier’s second honorary degree as he currently holds a master’s degree from the International College of the Cayman Islands.

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Mac’s charges consolidated

| 11/06/2013 | 0 Comments

Mckeeva bush at LA.jpg(CNS):  The eleven criminal charges that have been filed against the former premier and leader of the United Democratic Party, McKeeva Bush, may be consolidated, officials said Tuesday. With mounting rumours that the charges relating to theft and corruption offences had been dropped, a police spokesperson stated that the prosecution was on-going. Bush, who is now the leader of the opposition, is expected in court on Friday 28 June, when he will answer charges that include allegations that he used a government credit card to unlawfully withdraw thousands of dollars in cash from ATMs in US casinos while travelling for business and pleasure. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

As the RCIPS and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continue their investigations into the former premier of the Cayman Islands and wait on the public prosecutor’s office over what are believed to be at least a dozen further charges, a spokesperson for the police said the RCIPS was aware that the director of public prosecutions (DPP) was considering changing the indictment relating to Bush’s charges. However, the issue was a matter for the crown counsel concerned.

"The case against Mr Bush is now in the courts system and the issues therein may be considered sub-judice. It should also be noted that any decision made in relation to charges and the framing of indictments is a matter for the DPP's office,” the spokesperson stated. "The RCIPS understands that no charges have been dropped but that consideration has been given to consolidating some of the charges … Any confirmation of such action, or any comment relating to it, must be made by the DPP's office and not the RCIPS. It would be inappropriate for the RCIPS to comment further on this matter," she added.

Although Bush already faces eleven charges relating directly to the misuse of a government credit card and abuse of office, investigations into various other allegations, from the infamous Stan Thomas land zoning affair to a more recent transfer of a fee on behalf of Bush to a regional university in connection with an honorary doctorate are also still underway.

However, the UDP leader has categorically denied all charges and allegations against him, accusing local authorities of conspiring with the governor and the FCO, among others, to oust him from political office. He has also denied any knowledge of a $1 million donation paid to the Jamaican based University College of the Caribbean (UCC) on his behalf in connection with the honorary degree. However, the college chancellor admitted that the university’s foundation had received and returned the gift when the special degree that Bush was supposed to receive was not bestowed.

Related articles:

Mac charged with theft

Mac used CIG card in casinos

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UCC: $1M was not solicited

| 22/05/2013 | 41 Comments

1-intro.jpg(CNS): The donation that was made on behalf of McKeeva Bush in relation to the honorary doctorate that he was scheduled to receive from the University College of the Caribbean was unsolicited, the board of directors said Wednesday. In a statement released to CNS in the wake of revelations about the anti-corruption investigation in Cayman surrounding the transfer to the college from a US-based bank in connection with the degree, the board said at no time was there “any requirement for a contribution”, which it said would have been contrary to its protocol. The board said that when the contribution was made to the UCC Foundation for a Scholarship Endowment Fund it was “accepted graciously” but after “subsequent developments”  the cash was returned.

Worried that the news of the donation, of which Bush has denied any knowledge, is tarnishing the reputation of the UCC, the board said it was “not unusual for well thinking members of society to make a contribution to a University or its Foundation”, and after careful consideration this donation was accepted and later returned.

“The University College of the Caribbean is therefore most concerned about the different suggestions and allegations in the press, which seek to tarnish its image and to make it appear less in the eyes of well thinking members of the society and its many local, regional and international partners, affiliates and stakeholders,” the college said in a statement to CNS.

“It has now come to the attention of the UCC that this matter may be of interest in an investigation which is being conducted by the Caymanian authorities and as such have takenthe decision not to make any further statement at this time,” the officials added in the latest development regarding the donation.

In a statement on Friday Bush said he knew nothing about the donation and that the allegations were all part of the conspiracy against him to prevent him from winning the election

See the statement and related articles on CNS:

Bush denies buying 1M Phd

‘Gift’ for Mac’s PhD probed

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No certainty on election eve

| 21/05/2013 | 26 Comments

alden wb rally.JPG(CNS): Following a weekend when both the political parties and independent candidates were putting on shows of force across the islands with motorcades and rallies, the question of who will be premier on Thursday remains uncertain. Despite his long list of criminal charges and the latest revelations concerning a $1 million transfer to a Caribbean university in connection with an honorary doctorate, McKeeva Bush is still very much a contender for the top job. Even though no one outside of the UDP is willing to work with the former premier, Bush may just squeeze a majority depending on how close the vote is between his and his opponents' candidates in the capital as a result of the split vote.

Although the opposition to the UDP, and Bush in particular, is believed to be running at more than 70 percent of the electorate, that opposition to the former premier is split across several different groups — the PNA, the C4C and other independents, as well as the Progressives — and the UDP could, therefore, still steal the day on Wednesday, returning Bush to the premiership.

With the PPM’s show of force on Monday evening’s motorcade, however, expectations that the PPM can squeeze out the UDP in the capital were raised but it is still too close to call.

The widely popular concept of a coalition remains in question, too, as the independent vote in the major constituencies is also split. With no grass roots collective support for groups such as the PNA or C4C, compared to the party loyalties that carry block votes for both the UDP and PPM candidates, the independent candidates have the biggest hill to climb when it comes to attracting the significant number of votes that will be required to win in the major battlegrounds of West Bay, Bodden Town and George Town.

A parliamentary deadlock is also a definite possibility, with nine PPM candidates and their independent supporters being returned across from nine UDP candidates. If a number of independent candidates are elected then Cayman’s next premier could even end up being an individual who has never served inside the country's parliament before. While the main contenders for Cayman’s third premier remain Alden McLaughlin, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, McKeeva Bush and Ezzard Miller, should either Jude Scott or Roy McTaggart be returned they may be pushing for the top job as well. 

With no official independent polls and only those financed by parties and the media, the results that have been revealed are varying widely. Although the CNS poll has the PPM commanding 42% of the straight vote, the UDP a mere 7% and the independents and split vote running highest with 47%, by comparison the Cayman 27 poll shows the PPM, the UDP and the split vote neck and neck with just 23%, 22% and 23% respectively.

Vote in the CNS on-line poll: How-will-you-be-voting?

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‘Gift’ for Mac’s PhD probed

| 17/05/2013 | 225 Comments

Micky Mouse degree.png(CNS): The police and the Anti-Corruption Commission are currently investigating a money transfer made to the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) of US$1 million in relation to the honorary doctorate that the former Cayman Islands premier was scheduled to receive before he was arrested last December. The UCC chancellor confirmed this week that a donation was received in relation to the special degree that was to be given to McKeeva Bush but it was returned after the college deferred awarding the honour. When asked about the transfer, which is understood to have been made from a bank in New York, local officials confirmed that a joint investigation was underway.

“We can confirm that an allegation of corrupt behaviour, as you describe, has been received by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC),” a spokesperson for the ACC and the RCIPS stated Thursday in response to questions from CNS about a large donation to the UCC from a US bank that was involved in re-financing talks with the former Bush administration.

“As with any allegation made to the ACC referencing corrupt behaviour, the complaint is firstly registered and the details are then reviewed to determine the validity of the accusations made and the existence of evidence. We can confirm that a joint investigation involving the ACC and the RCIPS is now underway and, as such, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage,” the spokesperson stated, making it clear that the commission had determined that there was merit in the accusation.

The UCC chancellor, Dr Herbert Thompson, responding to CNS questions via e-mail from Jamaica, said the gift to the UCC Foundation, which was made last year, was returned when the honorary doctorate was not conferred.

“The UCC Administration is satisfied the matters were amicably and adequately handled and does not wish to make any further comment at this time,” Dr Thompson stated, directing further enquiries to the UCC Foundation’s attorneys, Hamilton Brown Hamilton & Associates.

Bush was scheduled to receive the honorary doctorate at the college in Jamaica on 13 December 2012. However, he was arrested just days before and questioned by police for two days. Following his release on bail, he headed straight to the college, where he delivered an address on integrity but did not receive the degree.

The gift to the college, which was made on behalf of Bush, was reportedly transferred back to the original bank. Although the ACC has remained relatively tight lipped about the issue, other sources have informed CNS that there are concerns that the funds represent a payment made in connection with a potential re-packaging of government finances, which was transferred to the regional university on Bush’s behalf.

In addition, other sources have told CNS that several potential charges against Bush in relation to theft of public funds and further misuses of the government credit card have been passed to the director of public prosecutions for consideration. However, no further charges have been laid against the former premier, who is only days away from a general election and currently facing 11 counts of theft and corruption.

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Joey bailed without charge

| 07/03/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The managing director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has been released from custody and bailed by police to return at a later date as enquiries into the allegations against him continue. Joey Ebanks (49) was arrested at his home in Pedro, Bodden Town on Wednesday morning at around 7am on various offences relating to financial irregularities at the ERA which were uncovered during the authority’s annual financial audit by staff from the auditor general’s office. The police searched Ebanks' home and a drug utensil issue was added to the arrest list. On Thursday afternoon an RCIPS spokesperson confirmed that a 49-year-old man had been released and bailed until April.

Ebanks, who was suspended from his job at the ERA last weekend, is suspected of abuse of office, theft, and possession of a drug utensil. Since his suspension, Ebanks has been using his Facebook page to protest his innocence and hit out at those he believes are conspiring against him.

He claimed to have been told that his suspension related to him paying for a flight to Jamaica from ERA Funds. The flight, he said, was so he could speak on the former premier’s behalf at a university ceremony in which McKeeva Bushwas given an honorary doctorate, ironically days after Bush’s own arrest for suspicion of theft and corruption offences.

All eyes will be on Ebanks’ Facebook page in the coming days to see if he will continue to fight his battle in the virtual arena of the social media site.

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ERA boss remains in jail

| 06/03/2013 | 1 Comment

joey.jpg(CNS): Updated 10am Thursday — The Managing Director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority remained in police custody Thursday morning following his arrest on suspicion of abuse of office, theft, and a drug offence by officers from the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit early Wednesday morning. Joey Ebanks (49) was arrested at around 7am in connection with financial irregularities that came to light during the ERA’s annual audit. However, officers confirmed Wednesday that he was also arrested on suspicion of possession of a drug utensil. The ERA boss was arrested at his home in Pedro, where a search was conducted by police. Ebanks was suspended from his post at the weekend after the ERA board was informed by the audit office of their concerns.

The red flags picked up by the Office of the Auditor General were passed to the police, who executed the arrest today. Ebanks is still in custody and is reportedly being interviewed by FCU officers.

Since his suspension from the top job at the ERA, Ebanks has been using his Facebook page to protest his innocence and hit out at those he believes are conspiring against him.

Ebanks claimed to have been told that his suspension related to him paying for a flight to Jamaica from ERA Funds. The flight, he said, was so he could speak on the former premier’s behalf at a university ceremony in which McKeeva Bush was given an honorary doctorate, ironically days after his own arrest for suspicion of theft and corruption offences.

Related articles on CNS:

Police investigate ERA MD

ERA boss suspended

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