Mac plans to sue officials

| 15/01/2015 | 11 Comments
Cayman News Service

Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): In the wake of his acquittal following the criminal case against him last year in the Grand Court, the opposition leader has confirmed publicly his intention to file suit against those he believed conspired to bring what he described as the “sham” charges against him. Speaking at the end of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Wednesday, McKeeva Bush said he was suing the auditor general, the police commissioner and the governor.

Bush has hinted on a number of occasions that he would be responding to the criminal case against him through the courts. He has said that the allegations regarding the misuse of his government credit card were trumped-up charges as a result of a conspiracy among the UK appointed officials here in the Cayman Islands to oust him from the office of premier and to prevent him from being re-elected.

Following a prickly PAC hearing on Wednesday, during which it was apparent that Bush was not seeing eye-to-eye with the government members of the committee over the findings in the auditor general’s travel and hospitality report, which was being reviewed, Bush demanded that the Office of the Auditor General also be audited via an independent auditor, not chosen by Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick.

Swarbrick pointed out that his office was part of the internal government audit process and that his office was always subject to independent audits, the results of which were all public, and what small amount of travel and hospitality expenditure was incurred by his office was all published in detail on the website. Addressing the allegations that Bush had hurled at the report, Swarbrick denied that it had been the intention to criticize or smear anyone but to report on the lack of controls and systems to manage travel and hospitality spending.

During the period covered by the report, the tourism ministry, headed by Bush at the time, and the district administration ministry, which was headed up by Julianna O’Connor Connolly, the current speaker, accounted for 70 per cent of that type of spending in government. Therefore, it was those two ministries that had come under scrutiny during the audit.

Bush, however, continued to disagree with the auditor’s position regarding the lack of control or the spirit of the report. He demand an audit of Swarbrick’s office and made allegations about the wording of his reports, which he said, should not be made public until PAC had also examined them. Bush said the reason why Swarbrick was one of the officials being sued, along with the governor, the police commissioner and others, was because of the way Swarbrick did these reports and the things the auditor said about him.

“What I complain about is far too much misinformation, and the wording used leaves much to be desired. That’s what I say. And it’s done deliberately. That’s why you see that man over there is getting sued by me — him, the commissioner, the governor and quite a few more. That’s why they are getting sued.”

Bush did not identify, however, who else was in the legal firing line.

Following the criminal case against him last October, in which he was found not guilty on all counts, Bush said that his lawyers were going to look into the case and the revelations that the former governor, Duncan Taylor, had interfered in the police investigation, had leaked information to the press and that he had planned to celebrate once Bush was charged. Bush also pointed to the timing of the charges against him, how theft charges had been quietly dropped after loud announcements when he was first charged and what he said was the deliberate manipulation by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the case against him.

During the trial, the court heard that although Bush had used his credit card to take cash advances while he was playing the slot machines in casinos on overseas trips, it became clear there was no fixed prohibition at the time on any of the holders of government credit cards taking cash advances. The crown’s case was that Bush was drawing the money from the public purse to feed into slot machines, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money, which amounted to an abuse of his office. But the jury was unconvinced and cleared the former premier of all charges.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (11)

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  1. OnDaFence says:

    Can you please name all the other government employees who have used their credit cards in casinos in “the same fashion”? I mean fair is fair its the public purse, the people should know.

  2. SSM345 says:

    Are you stupid? Of course they were all using the Countries money. They did not go after them because there was no point once Bush got off you dimwit. And they paid it back, Bush only did once he was confronted about it for some 2yrs….

    • CaymansList says:

      How easily manipulated people are, which is why the UK toys with Cayman’s politcal process with impunity.

  3. PA Rody says:

    this could be awesome, ‘im sure in a civil case all his misdeeds, lack of controls, money for friends, etc. All the kernels of truth will come out and Mac will be scratching his head thinking why did I not keep my trap shut, soon come.

  4. caimanincayman says:

    Seems about right to me, he has gave moneys away, gambled our money away and double dip for years on salary, next step to damage the country? Sue them for not allowing him to do what he wants when he wants, seems about right to me …NOT!

  5. Blessed says:

    Good for you Bush sue them for everything they got. The reports are bias and base less

    • Palava says:

      So you’re happy to pay? If in the unlikely event he actually sues and is successful, you and I will pay, not the UK.

    • ExPat says:

      Um, he is suing YOU, so don’t complain when you got no money and the country got no money left to help support you. Oh but then Mac will prolly give you a loan nuh true?

    • Tesno says:

      Oh boy, Blessed, do you realise the ‘them’ is us the Caymanians? Hmmm, maybe you do know and not even a Caymanian right, although God know we have so many caught in the division they don’t even know what to do or how to think anymore

  6. Tom M. says:

    Does he know he will face a deposition, under oath?

    • diogenes says:

      And a judge to determine liability, rather than a jury. And liability for costs if he loses. I take his promise to sue with a very large dose of salt. All for voter consumption and to take attention away from the underlying allegations.

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