Speaker may face ACC probe

| 24/07/2015 | 100 Comments
Cayman News Service

Julianna O’Connor-Connolly Speaker of the Cayman Islands (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): The former minister for district administration and planning may be subject to an Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) investigation after the auditor general raised concerns again about her use of public money on Cayman Brac. In his latest report Alastair Swarbrick pointed to what could be a “breach of trust” by Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, who is currently the speaker of the House, over her direction to purchase a plot of land in her constituency.

In his review of National Land Development and Government Real Property, Swarbrick said that the then minister directed the purchase of property in an undeveloped subdivision valued at $125,000 with unspent funds at the end of the year. Although a Cabinet paper points to the acquisition benefit for affordable housing, the property was never vested with the Sister Islands Affordable Housing initiative and there is no evidence the agency was consulted about the purchase.

“Involvement of ministers in government operations is contrary to the Cayman Islands governance framework,” Swarbrick wrote in the report. “In (this case) there is a possible breach of trust as there was no evident government requirement whatsoever.”

He also raised questions over a house by the fire station which was purchased from the owner in 2012 for considerably more than its market value at the direction of O’Connor-Connolly after the owner complained of noise and fumes from the fire station. The property transfer has still not been properly completed and the building remains unused.

The allegations of a possible corruption offence in the report comes following the scandal surrounding over the paving of private roads on the Brac with public money, revealed by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) in an April 2012 report, Road Paving Expenditure in the Brac. However, although Swarbrick highlighted the fact that the paving was unlawful, there were no consequences for O’Connor-Connolly, who was minister of district administration at the time.

Swarbrick said at a press briefing this week that all of his reports go before the ACC, of which he is a member, and this report would be reviewed when the commission next meets. However, with no independent members on the ACC at present, he said he was unsure when the next meeting would take place.

Noting that OAG staff members are not lawyers or criminal investigators and their objective is to highlight red flags and concerns about infractions and the potential unlawful actions of officials, he said it was up to law enforcement agencies to decide if a criminal act has been committed.

He said the audits were designed to inform the Legislative Assembly, and by extension the public, about the inappropriate conduct and the systems that allow these things to happen.

Time and time again, Swarbrick has highlighted the unlawful actions of both non-elected and elected members of government and made recommendations. However, despite some progress to improve the governance systems, the problems persist, and with no sanctions for breaking the Public Management and Finance Law and a severely under resourced RCIPS Anti-Corruption Unit, the checks and balances on government are still failing, leading to both the potential and real abuse of taxpayers’ cash.

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Category: Crime, Government oversight, Politics

Comments (100)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While you are investigating the Brac do not leave out the “Tibbetts Highway” on the bluff. For those of you who do not know where or what this is – its is the nearly 50 foot road put in creating a new subdivision on the bluff near JuJu’s house with the majority if not all land owners being the Tibbetts family. We Brackas know where it is and what we are talking about. Too much hush hush happening on the Brac.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now we can look forward to a statement by the Premier on this matter when the LA reconvenes next month which will remain a top news item on Cayman Reporter for at least 10 weeks.
    MLA’s will I’m sure unanimously agree on a course of action also.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here is a chance for the Premier to prove Legge wrong.If nothing happened it only proves he is right.

    My money is that his will be written off as part of the culture and is in the past

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who owned the land and the fire station house? Who ended up with the money?

    I would love to see Juliana’s official spending given some proper investigative scrutiny but I know that will never happen. Even if it’s referred to the ACC they’ll sit on it for years then whitewash it or give her a slap on the wrist.

    Nothing will happen to her and nothing will change because the people who could do anything about it are all as bad as each other.

    Legge was wrong when he said all Caymanians are corrupt, but all Caymanians in certain social and professional circles are corrupt and you are niave if you believe otherwise.

  5. Just Watchin says:

    Let us now wait to hear the statement which the Premier issues on these matters when the LA reconvenes next month and the position that the members unanimously adopt.
    Btw, please do not hold your breath while you wait. I don’t want to be responsible for inciting genocide.

  6. Anonymous says:

    2014 – commonwealth journalists conference- Cameroon, Africa.

  7. George Nowak says:

    Just another day in Paradise

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tsunami soon come from the North!! Jeff and Bryce singing and the wave will follow their concerts!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Since she is affiliated the longest with UDP, not surprised, since it seems that’s the path they have been taking lately, which is being investigated so also look into who else from UDP current & former members have property in the Brac!

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe that every Caymanian who has a computer needs to read President Obama’s speech to the people of Kenya yesterday. Africa is in turmoil, corruption is a way of life, women and children are treated as slaves, education is almost non existent etc etc. Seems like the Caymanian powers that be have been taking lessons from Africa for far too long.
      Wake up Caymanians, you now have the impetus to start taking down these scoundrels, brand them for what they are doing to you and your fellow countrymen. Kick them out and elect a brand new parliament of independents.
      Bring them to trial, every one of them, and don’t allow them to select their own juries , bring in the cleanest, most reliable Judges from wherever you find them and teach these thieves that their corrupt collections of riches at the expense of the future of Cayman is unacceptable.
      Is there one politician who has had the guts to speak out publicly about this tragedy? Not one, so you can be sure that they all in on these lurks and perks to a man and a couple of women also.
      Cayman’s future is in jeopardy and these low lifes will steal away to the UK or the USA to make their own futures at the peoples great cost.
      How many other Caymanians have retirement homes on the Brac or in places like Georgia?
      There is no more time for complacency, they are bankrupting the country as we speak.
      David Legge may wish in hindsight that he hadn’t painted all Caymanians with the same brush, but in essence he is right. Corruption is endemic to the people in power and their supporters. Tell your neighbor to buy his own refrigerator and vote for the country not the perks that trickle down to them individually.
      A reminder, read Obama”s speech asap and reread it .
      There is a powerful message coming out of Africa’s failures as a continent and as individual countries.
      Look with your own eyes and see the similarities.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are no problems with either placing the accused before a court in the United Kingdom or bringing a UK jury here!
        Food for thought.

        • Anonymous says:

          This way we won’t have what happened with Mackeewa and his cronies that came into the court room staring down the jury.

          I was there, I saw it for myself.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obama is the most dishonest President the United States has ever had. In his wake are hundreds of election promises that he has failed to keep. Please, if you are going to ask me to read someone’s words, at least choose a person who is capable of telling the truth.

        • Anonymous says:

          Amen!!

        • Anonymous says:

          A Tea Party member here in Cayman! How wonderful! Someone else who believes their own rhetoric rather than take facts into account on those matters that are important. Get together with

        • Anonymous says:

          Most of the haters of Obama that I have met base their ideas gleaned from one way news media like FOX. They don’t seem to want to consider any alternative. If your feelings about Obama are racist based then shame on you. He was a black man in a black continent trying to make a point about treacherous black leadership worldwide.
          I’ll bet you never read any of his books or even the speech that you are condemning.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention her big switch to join the PPM -PPM owns the Brac, so I guess she could switch on and off when she can. Poor McKeva got a shock – Alden next

  10. Anonymous says:

    Cayman christianity.
    It makes me sick.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the problem with idiots like you and Legge. This is NOT Cayman Christianity. I am a Caymanian and this is most definitely NOT my Christianity. This is one lunatic’s Christianity. And I very much assure you you have lunatics just like this wherever it is you come from. This is what should be making you sick. Please try to get your brain in gear before you open your stupid mouth.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem is that even if you are a Christian are you rooting out the hypocrites in your church. You know the ones that are saying they are Christians but living in sin. If you make one slip it’s one thing but to continuously then you are lying to God when you ask for forgiveness.

        • Anonymous says:

          Birds of a feather flock together. That can apply to so many in Cayman, form the top down to the bottom.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, show us your better brand of Christianity or are you just a hater?

      • Anonymous says:

        Just try living by “thou shall not steal” to begin with

        Then start working on letting your family starve, as you just have to lease that big SUV to impress your neighbours and church congregation on how successful you want others to think of you.

        and if your Pastor turns up to church in a brand new Tahoe, and starts preaching which political party you should vote for, maybe be a little suspicous

      • Anonymous says:

        I never said i was a christian and i am definitely not a hater. Sorry you seem to interpret standing up for one’s rights as being hateful. It is very much past time that every Caymanian in this country started standing up for their rights and stop being condemned to hell by the ignorant of this world.

      • Anonymous says:

        A true Christian walks the walk and not just talks. A true Christian admonishes and builds up his/her brother/sister in Christ.

        Btw, There’s no such thing as hater. What are you a teenager?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nice photo CNN. Could we please also see the one with her driving her steam roller.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hurricane Hilton, postal conference, paid ‘aide’, pave gate, this house BS, help me out people, I know there’s more.

  13. Knot S Smart says:

    Poor Ms Julie must be so frightened…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Finally! JOCC has been lucky to escape scrutiny until now. I’d like to see her official travel, the rented accommodation on the brac and the paving incident investigated by the acc as well.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What does Paul have to say about all this?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Things are coming home to roost and changing quickly too.
    Big Jeff, favourite son of the soil, now Ju Ju the atheist outer and Canover to come.
    How long before the next scandal involving a committee or figure head in Cayman?

    Some will leave,others will remain abroad and some will walk round talking loudly about the others, stupidly believing that the louder they talk, the less suspected they are.

    Whilst they talk at anyone within earshot, they miss the steady rumble of the tsunami wave approaching!

    • Lalah Lande says:

      Tsunami? What tsunami? The Caymans never have those……………. well, not in CIG.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, all the old politicians need to leave before their skeletons come out. Make another generation take us forward. Besides, they will be the ones having to deal with the realities of any decisions made.

    Your time is up guys, please don’t run again!

    • Anonymous says:

      They need to face the laws of the country first, about “leave before skeletons come out.”

      Say “No to impunity in Cayman!”

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think there is a lot more that can be investigated. Even from the last time the PPM was in power. Remember, it was not only Mr bush that used his credit card for personal use but he was the only one taken to court. What about the three other MLAs and senior civil servants?

    • Anonymous says:

      It does not matter how long ago it was. If they were dirty then, they are still dirty now. Investigate, deal with them, get rid of them. Why people wait until the next election is beyond me,
      People should follow a recent example, get in quick and become an informer.

    • Anonymous says:

      And they didn’t do squat with Bush!

  19. Anonymous says:

    The auditor general needs to look into the abuse of spending in the Brac of the Hurricane Paloma funding. An foi has been tried and they refuse to release a list of properties and dollar values of repairs done. They say it will be too time consuming. That’s a bunch of crock as the works manager at pwd and the district commissioner has a list. Furthermore if you are spending the country’s money you should have a list at the tip of your fingers to give to anyone that needs or wants to see it. Also the question should be asked why have they fixed and rebuilt houses in the Brac with this fund for people who have long been deceased or live elsewhere and no one has lived in some of these houses for 20 years.

    • M. Ellay says:

      Are you nuts, Anonymous 2:09? They can’t do that! We would lose votes!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hurricane Hilton is built straight across from here home, so she doesn’t have far to run in the next storm. What a waste of money, why could it not have been built as a school that could double up as a shelter. They really don’t think
      before spending at all!

  20. Anonymous says:

    It will never happen. She is untouchable. There just is not the will to pursue these matters. Mr Swarbrick will get frustrated and leave and get another job somewhere else where they act on his recommendations and the 18,000 voters out of a population of 58,000 will continue to elect mediocre nobodies including Ms Julianna. Ah so it go.

  21. Anonymous says:

    she is a laughing stock…but who cares?…the idiot voters will vote her in again next time…. just like mckeeva, whogene, kurt, arden, ezzard……etc….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    legge was right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Legge was wrong. And so are you, smartie.

      • Anonymous says:

        MAN someone sure has a lot of computers…

      • Anonymous says:

        If it’s the inbred corruption you’re talking about, Legge was right. If you don’t see it…. well we know what that means. Nothing wrong with that, it your island.

        • Anonymous says:

          Legge is an idiot. And so are you. There is obviously and undeniably corruption in our government, just exactly like there is corruption in every government in every country on the face of this earth, including yours. I repeat, including yours. This is what you should be concerning yourself about. This does NOT mean that there is “inbred” corruption in every Caymanian and it certainly does not mean there is “inbred” corruption in every individual in every country on the face of this earth including you and Legge and your apparent host of ignorant supporters. PLEASE try to get the log out of your own eyes first folks.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s endemic and you still vote for them. So why do you if you know about it?? It is you, Caymanians who vote who have the power to stop it dead in its tracks!

            • Anonymous says:

              There is none so blind.

            • Anonymous says:

              You very obviously didnt bother to read the post directly below you. And you must have arrived in Cayman yesterday. The offending Government partywas voted out of power years ago. By the very same people that are being accused of being just like them. Will this point EVER get across to you people???

        • Anonymous says:

          I so wish that the dumb expatriates in this country would seal their ignorant blowholes shut on a subject that they very obviously know absolutely nothing about. Yes we have corruption in our government just exactly like they have in theirs, wherever in this world they happen to come from. As a voting public, we have done our part to remove the government responsible for at least 99 percent of the accusations of corruption now coming to light in this country, years before they are even coming to light. I sincerely wonder if the blissfully ignorant expats we have here can say the same about themselves and their own people and their own country. The thanks that the decent citizens of this country get for our efforts from know-it-alls like Legge, and an apparently large section of the rest of our expatriate population, is being accused of being just like the few perpetrators of corruption in a government that no longer even exists.

          • Anonymous says:

            Hey, give me a break. I said it was your island.

            • Anonymous says:

              I will be very happy to give you a break as soon as you finish posting ignorant crap on CNS.

            • Anonymous says:

              Something I’ve learned is, you just can’t argue with the willfully ignorant of Cayman ol’ buddy.

              -and I’m a Caymanian!

              • Anonymous says:

                When you’re dead you don’t know you’re dead just like when you’re stupid. There are a lot of stupid Caymanians who have been brainwashed with raging patriotism and refuse to acknowledge the country’s demise at the hands of the greedy few.

              • Anonymous says:

                A very obviously willfully ignorant caymanian unfortunately.

              • Anonymous says:

                Not sure about you idiot but no expat is EVER going to come in to this country and accuse ME of being an “inbred” criminal for any reason on the face of this earth. What you should in fact be doing if you had a brain at all is standing behind our Premier’s actions in this matter.

          • People's Front of Judea says:

            Terrific race, the Caymanians. Terrific.

    • Anonymous says:

      And leg did what wrong???? Wake up Arden, corruption running ramped through Government and this is just the beginning

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden Arden and all of you KARAM is a hell of a thing. If we’re going to deal with corruption lets start with them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Arden is too old school for a computer sure he has one but so do many that have no clue how to use them perhaps he can text a simple ok but do an email forget it …..I come to this conclusion because I have sent arden many emails and never a response

  22. Rorschach says:

    It would be interesting to know who this land belonged to before the purchase.

  23. Anonymous says:

    It is clear that the politicians do not want the ACC to be effective. If they did they would Make the appointments necessary. The PPM talks a good game when it comes to cleaning up government but when it comes down to actually doing it they fall way short.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Madam Speaker with other elected persons and public officers should be investigated

  25. SSM345 says:

    At this stage in the game with all these ill-deeds coming to light, will the revised Cayman Dictionary 2.0 have a special Addendum for the word corruption?

    • Anonymous says:

      Along with the phrase ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘enforcement’ it’s not even in that dictionary.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Treason” is in the Cayman dictionary though. It has a special meaning, roughly equivalent to “Exposing embarrassing truths that ought to be ignored or actively covered up in a manner that justifies petty retaliation”.

    • Judean peopl's Front says:

      I just looked up ” inbred corruption” in the concise Oxford dictionary. There was no actual definition, just a picture of David Legge wearing a T shirt with “I told you so” on the front!

  26. Sir Velo says:

    On the plus side, the Brac is a roadie’s nirvana. Nothing better than an active roads minister!!

  27. Fed Up says:

    Just another day in paradise. We the tax payers continue to be burdened with these costs. it is time Cayman, it is time. VOTE SMART and hold our “so called leaders” accountable!!! The future of our islands are in the court of the people on election day.

    • Anonymous says:

      The vast majority of the ‘taxpayers’ can’t vote. That’s the beautiful thing for these people.

    • R. U. Kidden says:

      How do you VOTE SMART when you only have a choice of Tweedledum and Tweedledee?

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s why we need term limits. Term limits would rid us of these carreer politicians

      • Anonymous says:

        @ R. U. Kidden – Tweedledum and/or Tweedledee would be a vast improvement to the yahoos we’ve got now. Heck, even the Mad Hatter would be better than what we have now.

    • Anonymous says:

      @fed up
      Accountability does not exist in our island. All we hear is what we already know. But I do agree with your post

  28. Da-Wa-Yu-Get says:

    Well done Premier Alden and PPM your party member has made the progressives plus the country ‘proud’ yet again

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember that the Speaker switched sides — she was originally UDP, serving most latterly as Deputy Premier in UDP cabinet. Maybe just a technically, but were these infringements committed while she was tethered to the UDP? In that case, the current Premier and other Progressives may not even have known about these latest incidents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice try, but they all in cahoots. Sorry, your effort at “plausible deniability” on the part of PPM is flimsy at best.

        I wonder what it is she has on them that got her the promotion to Speaker of the House in the first place?

      • Anonymous says:

        You are an Eeeeeediat or a Zombie!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, I’d say that’s a technicality. At any rate, they know now, what are they going to do about it? “We’re not as corrupt as the other guys!” just doesn’t seem like a great slogan to me.

  29. Anonymous says:

    About bloody time she was held accountable. Madam Speaker has evaded answering questions and investigations about the paving scandal in CYB, abuse of public finances as UDP Deputy Premier, the bluff Hilton hotel project and now the latest AG’s report

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