Police to investigate ERA MD

| 04/03/2013

joey ebanks.jpg(CNS)Updated 5pm — Police have confirmed that a report has been filed with the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit about “inappropriate financial transactions” which led to the suspension of the Electricity Regulatory Authority’s managing director. A police spokesperson said a formal complaint had been received and the case is now under investigation. According to a release from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), the transactions came to light during the audit of the ERA’s 2013 financial statements. Following the public auditors’ red flags, the Cabinet suspended MD Joey Ebanks and the findings were passed to the police. Following Ebanks' suspension, as reported on CNS this morning, the board has confirmed that Louis Boucher has been appointed as acting MD and Ebanks has returned to Facebook with more posts.

Ebanks stated in a post on Monday afternoon on the social media site that he was being investigated for using ERA funds to buy his flight to Jamaica to attend the ceremony at the University College of the Caribbean where the former premier, McKeeva Bush, was being awarded an honorary doctorate from the university. Ebanks says he went to the event, which occurred just days after Bush's arrest, in order to speak on the UDP leader's behalf.

In his Facebook post Ebanks states that, because he has spoken out against the government, he has "no expectation of justice". Accusing the governor of now embracing the current premier and allowing the Brac paving scandal to "go away", the suspended ERA boss also accused Duncan Taylor of running a three year negative PR campaign against the former premier.

Meanwhile, officials from the ERA said the decision to suspend Ebanks on Friday was made based on the preliminary findings by the OAG, which were reported to the Board of Directors on Thursday 28 February.

In what appears to have been less than twenty-four hours, Cabinet had suspended Ebanks, the police were alerted to the issues (which have not yet been detailed) and, according to the OAG, “action was taken to protect the ERA’s assets”.

Boucher, who is now acting MD, worked as the deputy managing director since 2009. He has experience in project and operations management as well as the evaluation of capital investment decisions in the utilities and power generation sectors, including the analysis of renewable energy projects from a technological, environmental and financial viability standpoint. As deputy MD, Boucher was responsible for reviewing and analysing licensee submissions and regulating licensees in accordance with the Licenses and ERA Law.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh come on, let’s give him another chance. How about the turtle farm? I’m sure he could run that well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is good to see that the RCIPS is moving quickly with this investigation. However, it leaves me wondering why they have not been able to move as quickly with the investigtion into the auditor general’s findings over the unlawful paving of private parking lots in Cayman Brac. Does anybody have an update on that investigation?

  3. Anonymous says:

    A comment in favor of the ERA Boss on FB reads. "needs a giant housecleaning here".

    Seems like this process has already started.

  4. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Do not worry Joey, McKeeva soon get back in, the good times soon roll again!

  5. St Peter says:

    My parents were so poor they never had any candy jar…

    So will someone please explain to me the meaning of 'sticky fingers in the candy jar'?

    Since mid December last year someone has said this to me on three different occasions – and I dont understand what they mean by that…

    • Anonymous says:

      I just read one of his facebook rants talking about "he's willing to die and will not surerender yad yada yada…he is starting to sound like Christopher Dorner and look how that turned out.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Corruption and incompetence. The twin curses of Cayman.

  7. 4Cayman says:

    I am tired of hearing about misappropriating of funds and investigations that takes forever. I want to hear guilty and a good long lengthy sentence that fits the crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, the people are  only looking at the 15 politicians for corruption.  They need to inviestigate the 3000 civil servants.  This is where the real corruption is!!!!.   The Politicians are under so much scrutiny anyway, the Auditor General, and Deputy Governor need to start looking in these issues and stop covering for them becuase they Caymanian, I am a caymanian too but if these corrupt employees are succedding over the private enterprise, how will it ever work..  If this is fixed, government will operate much smoother and more tansperancy but everybody is busy in government covering themselves and hiding there corruption.  Put them all in jail or set an example.

  8. Peanuts says:

    Well Ezzard had nothing to do with this one, well in a way. One could say that 'they' did not want anyone to drop a brown envelope in his truck.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cayman full of corruption man. All these scandals going on. UDP, PPM or whatever name you may want to call your group. This needs to stop or else things are going to get really rough for us Caymanians! For those who have children and young ones, understand this, our children going feel it worst! Do you want that for them? I know for sure I don’t that for my children!

    So Cayman, we all need to make sure come Election Day on May 22nd 2013 you cast your vote with sound judgement and elect those candidates that have honesty, integrity, and good character to be able to lead our country into greatness under the blessings of our LORD Jesus. This whole party politics is played out now. Simple as that. It’s tearing our country apart. The only party, per se, that should be is the 18 members who will be elected come May 22nd coming together with their various attributes willing to work together and get over their differences and strive to develop Cayman and its people; and with every decision they make it is made in the best interest of these beloved Cayman Islands.

    Cayman, I beg you, please do not make handouts from anyone entice you to vote for them. Come on! These are our children and grandchildren’s lives we are playing with when we vote. Yes, something that may appear to be simple, is actually really a serious thing. So when you’re at the polling stationabout to cast you vote or votes on May 22nd, stop and think, and ensure that you are making the right decision for our children and grandchildren’s future. Do the right thing. It’s 2013. It’s time for change. I miss the ‘old’ Cayman. Lets bring it back and fix it up a bit! Land of milk and honey for ALL Caymanians! #coalitiongovernment #independents

  10. Just Sayin' says:

    He’d still be a better option than Ezzard.

    • anonymous says:

      You speek for your self, We North Siders are Keeping Mr Ezzard Miller.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If they had followed Adam's Laws, which are just as tried and tested as the immutable Laws of Physics, then this never would have happened:


    Adam's Law #1: He nah s'pose be dey


    and if you get past #1, then:


    Adam's Law #2: We nah s'pose pay fa dat.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So sad. So many people XXXX and these very people are the ones who are popular with the Voters. Joey Ebanks is getting encouragement from so many people on FB. I cant believe that there are so many like thinking people in these islands. Seems like XXXX is the name of the game.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very sad indeed,because people like you cast a guilty verdict on persons in alleged crimes before they are even tried in a court of law.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is a political hit!

    Anyone close to the premier is being targeted.

    They have a hit list!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wonderful. Get em all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Long time coming but better late than never.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please! How brainwashed can you be?

    • Anonymous says:

      Great news! What took them so long? I hope it's a long list. I'm no investigator, but this one is a no brainer. Audit each of the Authorities for financial irregularities, booze on CIG's credit card, and BoD conflicts of interest. Hold them all accountable to the full extent of the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      I sure hope so, we need to rid the island of cronyism, corruption and theft of public funds and if that is on your resume then you are on the list.

      Go RCIP

    • Bling man says:

      May be dey need be targeted dey be close to mac.

    • Anonymous says:

      Their hands are all clean and their heart is pure, they are only being hauled away from the public so that we do not continue to negatively influence them into taking what does not belong to them.  We are all such liars and thieves, shame on the Cayman public – Pirates are still on these shores? I just can't believe it !! a lil mess lol !!

  14. philo the philosopher says:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN FOLKS!  It seems to me that Government has made every endeavor to  appointment persons of  a questionable background to positions of authority, leaving one to wonder why this situation keep repeating itself.

    We as a people, citizens and residents alike must "THINK" by reflecting on these type of things before giving a vote to any of these sitting politicians, because they ALL are culpable and are equally guilty of "THE CORRUPTION WE NOW SEE".




    • Anonymous says:

      Where are all those peolpe who were ranting about all white collar crime being conducted by those evil expats? Yet another nail in Caymans credibility coffin. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't think anyone ever said ALL white collar crime is committed by expats but clearly a great deal of it is and this does not prove anything different. Usually they get off though. Likewise all other crime is not committed by only the evil Caymanians as some of you expats claim.   

    • Mr T says:

      You saw it before you just chose to ignore it untill it has now started to affect you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Some unanswered questions:

    How on Earth was this guy put in charge of the ERA after what he did at the Turtle Farm?

    What does the ERA actually do? (I suspect we all know the answer to that)

    Is it just unofficially accepted here that every senior CIG official is on the take? If not why aren't these frequent revelations ever mentioned when budget time comes around and it turns out we're broke?

    Is any of the money ever recovered? Anyone ever actually locked up?

    How do Caymanians think it looks to the international financial industry when Cayman is forever putting its fees up but never addressing the unholy mess on the expenditure side of the budget?

    Is it possible to get a mandate from Cayman's voters to clean up the government? Or are too many of them directly or indirectly enjoying the benefits of the loose purse strings and liberal employment practices within CIG?

    Has it always been like this here? Or was it started by McKeeva?



    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, I would be interested to know how much of any deficit is because people are thieves! Part of government cuts on recurrent expenditure should be aimed at this, just because of the loss of money, not to mention all the other aspects. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask CG. He might know.

    • Bling man says:

      It always be.  Mac jes make it biggah.

    • Anonymous says:

      He was person of the year 2008. Is this part of the requirement?

  16. Westbay says:

    This is what happens when process is not complied with. The top job at the ERA was never advertised. Good process yields excellent results. It’s really that simple. All the top jobs in the civil service are advertised including deputy governor. When can’t the same happen in the public service?

    • Anonymous says:

      But Ellio told us that good process takes time and costs money.  He told us that about the Cohen deal.  He told us that about the Chinese dock deal.  He told us that about every close doors deal his hero Mac set up adn then screwed up.  Surely Ellio knows what is best and the rest of the democratic world is wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's actually even simpler than that. They never wanted to find the best person for the job. It was handed to a shady, incompetent character for reasons of political and personal expediency.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember a few of the ERA directors resigned when Ebanks was appointed as MD. During his recent interview on the talk shows he made mention of these resignations and that he had met with the outgoing directors who said that they no longer had the time to serve on the board. I think they knew what was coming and he knew that they knew.

      It would be good to hear about the selection process for the MD from the chairman of this board.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your comments are extremely astute and I can confirm with absolute certainty that the Board of Directors first learned of Mr.Ebanks appointment when it was announced in the press. They were never consulted or asked for advice regarding who would be appointed MD of the ERA.

        I suspect that may have been connected to the resignations of some of the Directors.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anyone in Cayman heard of ministerial responsibility? That's where the cabinet minister takes vicarious responsibility for the actions of his or her appointments. When you appoint someone with a deeply chequered past and no apparent skills, you take responsibility when they make a mess of it. Just a thought.

  18. Anonymous says:

    OMG Joey is like a spoil kid in a candy store that once he sees he cant get his way he throws a fit. What makes you feel that you could use Government money to pay for a Ticket or Tickets to go to Jamaica If McKeeva wanted you there that bad i dont see what he never added your ticket like the many other ones on that hug travel bill he has left the country with these brown nose people.

  19. St Peter says:

    Poor little Joey.

    He has such a big smile but cant keep a job…

    • Anonymous says:

      That big smile leaves me asking this question:  who paid for those teeth?

  20. Frank says:

    Whoever would continue to hire this idiot cant complain when something like this happens. Look at what he did to the Turtle Farm. And on a side note Joey, Duncan Talyor did not run a three year negative PR campaign against the former premier. The former premier ran a 3 year negative PR campaign against himself with all of his XXXXX and bullsh*t.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It is the fact that he does not seem to acknowledge he did something wrong that is amazing and shocking.  Paying monies back from undisclosed sources is not good enough this time – the man should never be allowed near a public body again.

  22. Anonymous says:

    We need an ERA like a hole in the head.

    How can cash-strapped Cayman afford to run agencies like this?

    Because many people are still looking for a free lunch. They think that if we guard against CUC raising prices, we will make some money.

    Instead, what happens is the people pay for an ERA to second guess the cost of electricity. To do that, they demand meetings with top CUC officials and engineers in an attempt to learn the intrices of electrical generation and distribution. Then at some point, they agree with the officials and engineers anyway, and accept the costs.

    The people have to pay the expenses of both sides, none of which would occur if there was no ERA.

    So where is the free lunch? 


  23. Anonymous says:

    “Ebanks said he went to the event ………………to speak on the UDP Leader’s behalf”. .??? So, he’s not denying that his ticket was paid with ERA’s funds? And is he saying that the fact that was was speaking on the UDP Leader’s behalf makes it okay??? HAS EVERYBODY GONE MAD?

    • Anonymous says:

      He who is without sin cast the first stone, Joey is innocent until proven guilty.  Let the justice department do their jobs and stop the speculation.  Everyone is trying to bring down the UDP government and McKeeva Bush but this will not  happen just wait and see.

      • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

        Hey 09:27, no one is "trying to bring down the UDP Government and McKeeva Bush", as the UDP Government does not exist anymore and McKeeva Bush is doing a perfectly good job in bringing himself down, thanks!

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually – everyone is guilty immediately they do something wrong.

        Which part of his reply which says that he went to Jamaica for political purposes and not on ERA business do you not understand.

        He is not disputing it was paid for by the ERA. That is improper use of Corporation Funds and is just wrong. from what has been published he is guilty of that by his own admission.

        Whether or not he is subsequently found guilty ona  criminal level in a court of law is a separate (important but separate matter). He has done wrong and admitted misusing our funds ened of story as far as having him return to ERA – or any other position of responsibility / trust and in any circumstances – is concerned

      • Anonymous says:

        CNS, can you add an icon that represents a good ole tamarind switch please?  some of these people commenting need a good beating – if you tink da stick can hut, wait fa da switch , ohhhhh lawwwddddd !!

    • Anonymous says:

      Tues  7:25 – Yes all these  mad people working and stealing money whenever they get a chance. Lock them all up!! Blaming everyone else but themselves – trips, trips, trips, facebook, facebook, facebook!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    What I cant understand is how Joeys name can be published and the Intruder who was bitten name cant be published.


    CNS: We don't know the name of the intruder at this point. The police have a policy of not giving the names of suspects until they go to court. It will be published then.

    • Anonymous says:

      when did Joey go to court??? this type of policy is crippling our country!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Would you rather stick your head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening?  Public Officials have a higher accountability as they are spending your money.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Joey was publishing how own name at the weekend!

    • Bill Gates says:

      Was Joey the intruder?

  25. CYNICAL says:

    When will people like Ebanks realize that, possibly exposed yet again as a chancer, the last thing they want to do is to open their inarticulate mouths, and expose themselves as the fools they are. Does he imagine that this close to the General Elaction bush is going to leap to his defense. Despite his incredible capacity for denial in any context, bush should be cringing in the knowledge that he was ultimately responsible for the public exposure of a man to whom he gave at least two lucrative appointments, which subsequently Ebanks appears to have abused.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding me?

    The Premier gets arrested for "abuse of office" and then the  ERA MD commits "abuse of office" to buy a plane ticket so he could travel to  hear the Premier speak about INTEGRITY!

    You can't make up it this kind of stuff!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Joey should never have been in that post…or any post of authority for that matter.

    He is impressed with himself…similar to the character of the former premier, who I understand appointed Joey to this job. Even after all that took place at the Turtle Farm while Joey was managing director there.

    And the rubbish that he spews on facebook defies discription! I deleted him long ago.

    The amount of reputational damage caused by UDP and their supporters is staggering!

    Thank you Auditor General, Governor, Ezzard and all others bringing pressure to bear for "Good Governance".

  28. Anonymous says:

    One one thought that Joey would had learn a lesson from the TURTLES by now .He escaped the Turtles Farm Scandal / but never learns.




  29. Anonymous says:

    "Another one bites the dust".  Clean sweep and please take your beloved ex-premier with you.  

  30. Anonymous says:

    So, after the next election, could we not make political cronies directors of departments, etc.?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Boy oh boy, UDP drama continues. I'm interested to see how the Fab5 will try to distance themselves from this one. No matter what twist and turns with parables and bible quotes JUJU uses, we know that she was part of the UDP until it came time to save her own hide.

    Brac pavement scandal gone the way of the T-rex. All she had to do was jump ship, which she good at doing.

    This is another example of what UDP is all about. WE wont forget come May. The defacto UDP and the Fab5 are all one same dog puppy!!

    And will be treated equally on voting day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us not forget that just four short years ago, the PPM thought Joey had enough integrity to run with them, to get up on the stage and spout all kinds of anti-UDP rhetoric. All this shows is that when it comes to political power, the UDP and the PPM are exactly the same. They will do anything, say anything, run anybody if they think it will get them in the seats of power. Just say no to party politics, people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously it doesn't show that at all. It shows the UDP to be the party of corruption and cronyism. In May 2009 the truth was not fuly known about Joey, but the UDP appointed him to be MD of the ERA in full knowledge of who he is and perhaps BECAUSE of that.   

  32. SKEPTICAL says:

    Of course, now it is all made clear. Boucher had relevant qualifications/experience to be appointed MD last year, but bush’s pal Joey needed a job. Silly me, need to remind myself about the importance of priorities when making these sort of decisions.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Did Herman Wouk ever live here?

  34. Anonymous says:

    All Boards and Statutory Authorities need to be reviewed. when will we admit that corruption in this place is institutionalized and systemic Planning, Immigration they are worst

  35. Anonymous says:

    Incredible, he gets caught with his hand inthe cash pan, and he blames the governor for running a campaign to discredit his discredited leader……and this is the stuff of leadership on our boards….?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Go RCIP…make an example of these people as a warning to those who follow…and this time you won't have a dishonorable premier breathing down your necks.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Don’t stop the carnival…….up next should be CINICO for an audit. God knows what one will find there! When that’s done, go to the HSA!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The H.S.A. has been paying two Chief Financial Officers six figure salaries for almost a year now, but that's nothing compared to what is going on at the Maritime Authority.

      I'm putting in my FOI request today XXXX


      CNS: Let us know when you get a response to the FOI and we'll happily publish it. It's best to ask specific questions and for specific documentation (bills, receipts, etc).

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not forget Seaman's pension, Time to find out how many family members are collecting the same pension!

      • Anonymous says:

        Or how many "widows" get a seamans/veterans pension and their husbands were neither a seaman or a veteran. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone know what is happening with the case against the aviation authority and their ok'ing of the helipad on the waterfront? The police won't use the pad as it is unsafe (theirclaim). Internationally recognised safety standards are not being met and there is a case in court right now being tried. Apparently local property owners are p'd off that a private helicopter company was granted statutory immunity along with their helipad license.

    • Anonymous says:

      What you will find at CINICO is incompetences from the board right down to management!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Seems endemic – ERA, Cayman Airways, Government!  Whatever next!

    What a place!