Dart denies interest in EE fuel project

| 22/04/2015 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service

Chris Pope

(CNS): The Dart Group has denied having any connection to the correspondence or actions of one of its managers in connection with a proposed fuel storage and transfer terminal project in East End. Following a CNS report Wednesday on the proceedings in the Legislative Assembly relating to Navasota’s proposal, Dart issued a statement making it clear that Chris Pope, who had corresponded with Navasota about partnering on the project, was acting on his own and they were not involved.

Pope, who is a procurement manager with Dart Realty (Cayman), is also an owner of a Cayman-based firm called ABS Ltd, which is seeking to work with Navasota. Correspondence between the firms was tabled in the LA on Friday by East End member Arden McLean, and Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts read the content. (See related story)

Pope had implied that he and his group had more influence over the East End community and government than Navasota and he could help them secure a sole entity tender and a lucrative deal with government if it were to go ahead with a bulk oil storage facility.

However, Dart has categorically stated that Pope was not representing it or any of its affiliates in his business dealings for ABS Ltd and correspondence with Navasota. In a statement released Wednesday about the email that was read out in the LA, a spokesperson for Dart stated: “Neither Dart nor any of its affiliates have any interest in an East End fuel storage project proposed by Navasota Clean Energy LLC or by any other entity.

“Further, Dart confirms that no Dart entity or Dart affiliate has any interest in ABS Ltd. and that Mr Pope’s views were not representative of the views of the Dart organization or its affiliates. No Dart employee or related person was authorized to formally or informally represent Dart or a Dart affiliate in relation to any aspect of this proposed bulk fuel project. The statements made by Mr Pope were not made as a representative, formal or otherwise, of Dart or any Dart affiliates.”

Pope was the subject of some disparaging remarks in the LA as a result of the claims he had made in the correspondence about his influence, and was described as a “Johnny come lately” by the planning minister as he answered questions from the East End member.

Speaking to CNS about his dealings with Navasota, Pope said they were entirely separate from his job with Dart. He said it was a “sad day” regarding the exposed correspondence and took aim at Tibbetts’ comment about his time here. He said he had been in Cayman for more than 30 years and his wife’s family had been here for six generations, with wide connections in East End.

Pope said that despite working for Dart, he always had other entrepreneurial interests and that ABS Ltd was not connected in any way to his employers. Asked by CNS who was the group he referred to in correspondence with Navasota, he pointed to a business conglomerate of firms from the US and South America that all had an interest in the East End bulk storage and transfer facility.

He claimed he had been working on the same idea that Navasota had proposed for several years, which was why he had approached them over a partnership. Pope denied trying to manipulate the government or the East End community over the proposal and stated that all he wanted to do was give the people the facts so they could decide for themselves if they wanted the facility in the district.

Pope confirmed that Dart was aware of his company ABS Ltd because employees at the firm have to disclose all other interests, from volunteering to companies they own. But he confirmed that Dart was not involved in the firm, nor was it aware of the business interest he had in the fuel project. Asked about his position with Dart, he said he had been advised not to comment.

Pope told CNS that the comments in the LA had been “very upsetting” as he had done untold things for the community and that Cayman was his home. He said he had come under immense scrutiny as a result of this exposure, when he had only ever conducted himself with integrity.

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (14)

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  1. Kathy says:

    I think you will find the word Dart was not used in the LA but rather in the article on CNS.

  2. Naya Boy says:

    Poor old Mista Pope forgot his plate of Turtle meat when came to the meeting thus the comment of Johnny come lately!

    • Anonymous says:

      What meeting? The article refers to e-mail correspondence from Pope to Dan Hudson at Navasota.Are you saying that Mr Hudson requested Pope to a meeting and Pope was supposed to bring turtle meat.Please tell us more as you seem to be close to this story,so let us have all the juicy details.Please.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m pleased that the Dart Groups came out quickly and unequivocally to disassociate themselves from this questionable approach which could easily give the country a black eye as acts of influencing the government and it’s people could be perceived as corruption. Good investors don’t want to do business in a country where individuals can influence it’s government. I’m an expatriate and apolitical I don’t think the comments were intended to question the author’s status but rather as it is commonly used to suggest someone who never had wealth or significance which he or she has achieved. This might still be in poor taste; hence, the reasons why the leaders of this country need to be more thoughtful and respectful in their comments. The question that remains is what gave the author the confidence that he has such influence over a democratically elected government and a section of its people?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you seriously deluded. All acts in a tiny country such as ours influence government especially when a mere 400 voters can influence your future. Get real, XXXXXX

    • Diogenes says:

      Because he is related by marriage to half the people in the district?

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder whose head is going to roll for this one?

      • Expat says:

        If anyone’s head rolls it will surprise me. It’s like the U.S. banks. “Too big to fail”!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sounds to me like Kurt took an opportunity to publically bash Dart in the LA, with really no grounds or evidence to support that Dart had anything to do with the email in question, or the project as a whole. I’m sure that will win him a vote or two in the next election, as we all know the PPM core hate Dart with a passion.
    He should publicly apologize to Dart for dragging their name into it, and for his “Johnny come lately” biggot remarks.

    • Anonymous says:

      @1:49am ,I have to seriously wonder if you read the article.First of all the CNS article is titled “Kurt takes aim at Dart execs (executive’s) dealings”.Note it not say Dart’s dealings but instead to someone who is an executive with Dart. That is a major difference and perhaps you missed it or chose to ignore it. The very first line makes it clear that he was talking about one of Dart’s executive officers.In the twelfth paragraph the report goes on “The minister said he would not do any business with Pope.”.So please get it right and instead of asking Kurt to apologize to Dart ,you should instead apologize to Mr Tibbetts. PS;21 thumbs up suggests that at least 21 others did not read the article or chose to ignore its contents.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:53, perhaps you are gullible enough to assume that voters (and the wider public) actually read or care about the details. Headlines is what people read and remember, especially a year from now when they go to the polls. If you truly believe what you say, why didn’t the article state “ABS Ltd. Executive,” as opposed to Dart, as that is who Pope was acting on behalf of.
        The truth is Darts name is what caused this to get attention on the floor, and make headlines in the paper, when Dart should have never been mentioned. Any opportunity for the PPM, Arden or Ezzard to bash Dart they will seize, regardless if it has merit.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is not the LAW governing journalism and it is just too bad that we have ignorant people not wanting to find out the real facts. So, society must adapt itself for the ignorant? I refuse to and I hope people like you grow to realise the error in your assumption that we should all accept this proposition we need to write in a way in which the thickest amongst us can understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      The talks had already started when Mr Pope decided to throw his hat in the ring ;therefore he is a ‘Johnny come lately’.

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