Ex-airport board in probe

| 25/06/2014

(CNS): As the current airport board comes under fire over allegations of meddling in HR issues, it has emerged that the activities of the previous board are under investigation by the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit. Theboard was chaired by Norman Bodden but when he resigned Dick Arch, an owner of one of the businesses at the airport, took over and that board was also accused of staff interference, resulting in at least one law suit, and of serious conflicts. Aside from Arch, other members of the board had business interests at the airport, and despite claims to the contrary, they didn’t always recuse themselves when those issues were discussed and may have even directed policy to benefit their bottom line.

During the Finance Committee hearing the current board, chaired by Kirkland Nixon, came under serious fire from the committee and in particular Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, who was in possession of a number of documents that had been leaked from the airport indicating direct interference with staffing issues.

It seems that the board ordered that the IT manager, who was suspended after pornography was found on his office computer, be reinstated, despite significant evidence pointing to his culpability. It also appears that the board pushed the acting director out of his job while on vacation and as a result was forced to negotiate a hefty pay-off in order to head off a costly law suit. During their evasion of the Finance Committee probes officials from the airport were not entirely forthcoming, leading members of the opposition benches to call for some kind of enquiry.

As he questioned officials last week, Bush was incensed that there seemed to be no real consequences for the employee who was caught with the pornography or the board for wrongly removing the acting director or for the officials to mislead parliament.

While it appears that the current board, which also denied staff interference, did also meddle in HR issues, there are no allegations of conflict or corruption being made against this board.

However, it appears that the previous board, which was appointed by Bush’s former UDP administration and under his responsibility as he was also tourism minister at the time, was in the firing line of the police FCU. The board’s sacking of the financial controller, who is currently pursuing a legal case against government, as well as other interference in employee matters are understood to form part of police probe.

The Anti-corruption Unit also submitted a file to the director of pubic prosections (DPP) regarding potential conflict and abuse of office charges against the board membership, which the public prosecutor's office declined to press. Concerns were raised about the presence of board members at meetings in which their business interests were being discussed, but also accusations that policy was manipulated to assist their private commercial enterprises.

Recent revelations in the trial of the former director and deputy chair of the National Housing Development Trust board highlighted gaps in the anti-corruption law. Edlin Myles was convicted of seven deception offences directly related to his position on that government board but the crown was unable to pursue other charges against him under the anti-corruption law. It is understood that they could not define Myles as a public official because the NHDT board oversees a non-profit making government company.

The poor construct of this law for the Cayman context means that the ACU could face the same problem in any future probe of any government board members. Even if officers find evidence of corruption, they may still be powerless to prosecute as the debate on what constitutes a public official as defined in the current law roles on.

CNS Note: This article was adapted from one posted earlier today to clarify that the ongoing probe of the former board is being conducted by the Financial Crimes Unit and not the Anti-corruption Unit, which has completed its element of the enquiry. 

See related stories on CNS:

Airport board conflicts

Formerairport accountant turns to courts

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mac's strategy of implying corruption on PPM boards is a smoke screen to confuse whoever is fool enough to believe anything he says. Anyone who knows the individual members of the CIAA board knows the integrity and honesty of that group. If you want the real story, talk to any one of the bright young Caymanians at CIAA about the dark days under the UDP hand picked senior managers and the UDP Board. The real story is one of incompetence at the top, causing the vast majority of staff to suffer the consequences of a complete void in leadership.

  2. The Janitor says:

    This is worst than the USA VA scandal. Come on people….have a conscious and stepped down. This scandal is causing a lot of tax payers funds and quite frankly our legislators need to get on with business.

    so do the right thing for all those involved, step down, step aside  and let's get on with business. If not then investigate and make some arrests already!

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      Why is it that companies like the one who handles baggage screening has always conducted this service. Has it ever been put to bids.  Is this correct, this needs to be cleared up. I'm sur that the service could be handled even more efficiently by others with Caymanian staff. Also there is a large amount of non Caymanians working in the Airport Authority, why is this?

  3. pmilburn says:

    The beat goes on and Caymanians sit back and accept all this?Wake up people!!!!Its still Carnival time Does anyone really care what is considered the NORM these days.Sad days indeed and when the next election comes around it will rewind and start all over again.Caymanians STOP allowing this kind of behaviour to continue.

  4. Disgusted says:

    The corruption is getting totally out of hand and if we don't put a stop to it  NOW, by holding people accountable, we can kiss our country good bye. Come on RCIP send a few more to keep Joey and Edlyn company. We have to do what's right.

    • Anonymous says:

      agreed. and this latest porn geek scandal can easily be wrapped up using the existing office enty/exit card scanners and cameras which record the comings and goings of all staff.  and i am not even a security expert.

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. You are not a security expert. Why? There is no card access to the office in question, it is just a plain old door.


        • Anonymous says:

          start with the main entry doors sherlock and u can start eliminating people and so on…….

  5. Anonymous says:

    All I got to say is thank God it is all coming out.  It tells me Caymanians really want to see things done above "BOARD," no pun intended.  It is right for the Anti-Corruption Committee to investigate the previous Board's conflicts of interest and how they conducted themselves and if shown to have benefited, then they should be dealt with accordingly.  Likewise, if it is found that this present Board interfered with the management of the CIAA and reinstated someone abusing their position by downloading porn on the CIAA's computers, then they too should be held to account and the person downloading such should be held to account too.  Today's networking isn't shoddy, one has to have a password to log in and no IT Boss is going to give his IT password out to anyone else.  The network server will show sho logged in and what they did, so if he doesn't have the skills, bring someone in who has.  There are plenty of computer network experts on the island.  In closing, I say thank you to Kurt for making the workings of government more transparent.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Mickey Mouse Play House

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good GOD Man, can you imagin what was going on in times good by…. with little media coveage etc. The people that you think were doing their jobs etc were screwing you left right and center. XXXX



  8. Bamboozled says:

    Given Mackeeva's history, you would not expect the general public (and press) to be so gullible as to believe everything coming out of his mouth. Lies and convenient half-truths told specific to this case are many, including the following:

    1) "Only 2 people had access to the computer with porn on it"….this is simply not true, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story? The computer in question was in an open office where any number of people had access to the machine and the Admin password to get in was known to several employees AND a 3rd party IT contractor. THAT is why the case fell apart. Employees have rights too. 

    2)"The Board told the ACEO not to fire the IT employee"…..also not true. What the Board advised the ACEO was to investigate the claims and wrap up this and several other outstanding  HR  cases one way or another, in acordance with HR best practices. The decision whether or not to fire the employee was always for the ACEO to make. I fact, the retiring ACEO had sat on the IT case for several months and was either unable or unwillng to make a decsion. The Board had nothing to do with it.

    There is a big difference beween advice and instruction. Boards rely on the CEO to make good decisions in the best interest of the "Company". A good Board is made up of members with a broad wealth of expience across all disciplines. A CEO would be foolish not to take advatage of the free advice from his Board members, if needed when making critial decisions.

    Today's CNS headline might give you a clue as to why Mac is trying to discredit the current CIAA Board.        



    • Anonymous says:

      The computer should only be accessible by log on. If not fire the it manager for incompetence. No two log insshould be possible concurrently on the same machine. If they are fire the it manager for incompetence. Log on / off times should be retrievable and all web access date stamped. If they aren't fire the it manager. If you have got through this far and haven't fired the it manager you know who was logged on when the stuff was accessed. If it was the it manager who was logged on then it was either him who accessed it or someone else did while he was logged on. If it was someone else then he either logged on and left the computer insecure or someone else logged on as him. If he left it insecure…fire the it manager. If someone else logged on as  him he either gave them his details or they compromised security. If he gave them the password… Fire the it manager. If the system was compromised this is either flagged by the system or it isn't. If it isn't… Fire the it manager. If you are still reading this you know where it is google. FIRE THE IT MANAGER!

      • Anonymous says:

        The board cannot fire the IT Manager because, he is my friends son, or my friend, friends son.   What the fuss is all about.  Other people get dragged into tese unfair situations and they are tarred and painted with that old brush.

        PPM wake up and get rid of the Board, it is making us all look bad.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is it time that local businesses start withholding government fees until corruption is addressed? What's the point of paying all these hefty fees if they are just going to end up in a corrupt official's back pocket?

  10. Anonymous says:

    People on the board are also owners of companies that operate at the airport. Hmmm….and we are shocked by this?!

    • Archie Buck Dem Up says:

      Yeah finally, those who hide behind the ring and sat  or sit at the Airport Board are being exposed. Payment of largesse to both sides and for sitting permanently without their business going to bids was one of the critical aspects that has held the old board and it's members together for years. It seems that when confronted with this by past employee that they took umbrage and decided that he was not  of the clan well we really don't know or do we. 

      This fraternal patronism had to end and has to end. PPm find board members and staff who are not part of the V. Remember this all a you, curse my child and yours will be too in just a short while.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is this possible to own companies at the airport and be on the board? I do not see how the board can serve any useful purpose. What a joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      As one would expect since this was Mac's board.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not only Mac board.  This board too, Nixon wife on a shop at airport, guyton got shares in business at airport. Chief Office Aunt is on the Board, Guton family to Moses. The list goes on and on.  Transparent all right.  LOL PPM

        • Anonymous says:

          What alot of jealous people !!!!! In a small Country like Cayman it is impossible to have people on boards that are not family or friends. It is about time that A cAYMANIAN LOOK AFTER THEIR OWN.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Another example of bias look at old board but cover up for the new.  Gotta love this place call cayman.  PPM tyring to avoid making a decision, but they will have to.  LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      omg….i am so agreeing with you !!!  one probe after another , just to cover up new p.p.m. bs

  12. Anonymous says:



    As my Mama used to say, if you don't laugh you will cry!