Coles to chair new civilian-loaded ACC

| 19/08/2016 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service

Richard Coles, Chair of the Anti-Corruption Commission

(CNS): Following changes to the law paving the way for the Anti-Corruption Commission to be made up of civilians rather than public officials, which the legislation was designed to keep in line, the governor has finally appointed a new commission. The group of lawyers and finance experts will be chaired by Richard Coles and include Tim Ridley, Sophia Harris, Norman Bodden and Kadi Pentney. The commission has barely functioned since its former members, which included the police commissioner the auditor general and the complaints commissioner, left the island and previous non-government members resigned.

On Friday the Commission Secretariat revealed the new line-up, four of whom are lawyers. The terms of appointment began 15 August — Coles, Ridley and Bodden for two-year terms and Harris and Pentney for three-year terms.

Cayman News Service

Norman Bodden

The ACC is responsible for the administration of the law and has broad-reaching powers to investigate reports of corruption, liaise with overseas anti-corruption authorities, and obtain court orders to freeze the assets of those suspected of committing corruption offences.

“The ACC has an exceptionally important role to play in the Cayman Islands’ commitment to combat and deter corruption,” said Kilpatrick. “The members of the ACC work diligently to enhance and promote the accountability of all public officials.”

Sophia Harris

Sophia Harris

Richard Coles, the new ACC chair, is a former attorney general who previously served as chairman of the Human Rights Commission, deputy chairman of the Civil Service Appeals Commission and as a member of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. He has also served as the chair of Cayman Finance.

Norman Bodden, OBE, of Bodden Corporate Services and Bodden & Bodden, served as a member of the Legislative Assembly and was tourism minister in the 1984-1992 government. A one-time MD of Cayman Airways and board member at the airline, he has also served on the Immigration Board. Bodden is also a justice of the peace.

Cayman News Service

Kadi Pentney

Sophia-Ann Harris, a founder of Solomon Harris, is a well-known corporate attorney who is a past chair of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal and past chair of the Board of Directors of Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd.

Kadi Pentney (née Merren) is a certified public accountant and was a manager at PwC until she left to become a full-time mother. A past president of the Kiwanis Club of Grand Cayman, she was awarded the Young Caymanian Leadership Award last year.

Cayman News Service

Timothy Ridley

Tim Ridley, OBE was a senior partner for many years with leading Cayman Islands law firm Maples and Calder. A well-known offshore legal expert, he has wide regulatory and governance experience, having served on the boards of the Cayman Islands Health Services Commission and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. He has also served on various consultative committees that advise the Cayman Islands Government on matters relating to the financial services and local industries. He writes and speaks widely on Cayman Islands legal, financial and regulatory issues.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As usual the token black Caymanian must be married to a ‘white man’ or have Jamaican connections, even if they were able to gain position of respect on their own.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone else see the fawning editorial in the Caymanian Compass about how they thought these appointments were the best thing since sliced bread?
    I guess now we all know on which side it is buttered.

    It is no wonder they hardly get any comments. There’s never any news either, except the sanitized version and some irrelevant stuff from Washington.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one scratching my head at the composition of the acc? No offense to Sophia Harris or Norman Bodden, who are obviously successful attorneys and business people but what experience do they, and Ms Pentney and Mr Ridley, have with anti corruption or even investigating criminal matters? None, it seems like. Unfortunately the acc looks like just another opportunity for government to reward loyal followers With a board appointment. The opportunity to staff the acc with people qualified in the field has been lost.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A group designed to ensure nothing ever happens?

  5. Anonymous says:

    How very rude and unfair to pick on Kadi’s ability to perform in this role because she is now “a stay at home mom”. For those of you that don’t know while her most important role right now may be taking care of her child she is also a very astute business woman. We need to stop being so negative and unkind towards each other.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think all of these appointed are an excellent choice. Educated, qualified and fair.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How can Coles be the member of a “transparent” anti-corruption committee when he is quite clearly a member of one of the most opaque organisations in Cayman,
    Please see attached link.

    http://www.dgljamaica.com/assets/files/2011_JULY_newsletter.pdf

    Pertinent information is on page 2.
    In fact, this casts aspersions on most of these appointments.

    It also casts a lot of light on prior dealings in Cayman.
    I know nothing about the young Pentney lady, but all the others have had a hand in shaping the future of Cayman at previous stages of their careers. Those with long memories will remember.

    This Board needs to be chosen by other people and the appointees should have no “affiliations” that could compromise their ability to perform in such a role.

    This is blatant truculence and a huge slap in the face to the thousands of trusting folk who have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.

    • Anonymous says:

      An ideal candidate would have been Chris Johnson who is well known for his stance against corruption, and his investigation expertise.

      • Anonymous says:

        As the original poster, I would have to agree with you. Mr. Johnson does not suffer fools lightly and would be the ideal candidate.
        I think those facts alone disqualify him completely.

      • MI6 in Paradise says:

        He is described as a disruptive personality and is results driven. He would be ideal and would push for investigations across the board; something the Progressives cannot afford in an election year particularly for members of politically appointed boards like CPA.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why does Norman Bodden keep popping up. His has had his time and is now a bit out of touch with the real world. I am sure a more qualified , up to date educated person could be found. PPM surely you can find someone else among your cohorts to fill this position.

  9. Barney Oldfield says:

    I am impressed. Go ACC! I just hope we aren’t disappointed……… again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A reward for services rendered to Premier Alden and his friends

  11. Anonymous says:

    Outstanding choice for Chairman – would like to see Mr. Donovan Ebanks on ACC.

    • Just Watchin says:

      Hmm… Donovan Ebanks? You mean the same Donovan Ebanks who told one of his Chief Officers that “The Governor knows” so it was ok to sign a warrant to search the office of a sitting judge, without conducting his own due diligence on the evidence supporting the issue of the warrant?

      PS Just do everyone knows, the judge was eventually awarded damages in subsequent law suit.

      • Anonymous says:

        So tell me something Just Watchin @ 9:20a, if the person you call when the Police come with the warrant, and the person that turn up at the police station to check on you is the seem person that pick the judge to hear your lawsuit, aint your number going to play? You all think we stupid or what?

  12. Anonymous says:

    A strong commission. Kudos to the Governor thank you members for your service.

    Thankfully not much work these days.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I like Kadi. I think she is well qualified in terms of temperament and character for this position. But, forgive me if I roll my eyes at the idea of a stay-at-home mom around the age of 30 being a member of one of our most important ‘institutions supporting democracy’. For all the many great things Kadi is… in this context, she might as well be cotton candy. “Hey yeah, I’ll totally support the fight against corruption in our beautiful islands! Smile hugs!” Give me a break. The others are spot on. Except Sophia Harris. She has not distinguished herself in any role she has occupied; merely occupied it.

    And if anyone thinks this is envy, I am also a young member of an important public body.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stupid comment. Kadi is extremely bright and decent, best one on the panel in my view.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.44am You seem to have a real
      problem with women.

      • Anonymous says:

        No I have a problem with tokenism and poor composition of key boards. There are people here who would say yes to the opening of an envelope. How can any faith be placed in them to exercise the extensive powers of this commission, without fear or favour?

    • Anonymous says:

      12:44 pm, 20/08: sounds uncharitable to me. How able do you think you are to evaluate performance of persons sitting on hoards? Such evaluations must be extraordinarily challenging given all the variables and you obviously were not even there!

      Most unkind!

      • Anonymous says:

        Very able. Fighting corruption in the Cayman Islands is a vital task upon which our survival depends. A properly calibrated moral compass is not enough. You need a serious demeanour and an appreciation of the gravity of the problems. I can promise you Kadi doesn’t spend her time agonising over the state of her country. She doesn’t crusade for the eradication of systemic flaws; she crusades for charity and community. That might make her look good in terms of optics on this board, but it doesn’t mean she has the inclination to root out corruption. The post that I hold I earned by relevant experience and not by having the mere appearance of virtue.

        • Anonymous says:

          10:47 am @ 22/08 — very able? “says who”? to quote the latest Internet expression. Have you not heard that self praise is no recommendation at all? In any case, Sophia Harris has actually distinguished herself above most of the other female lawyers on this island. For example, while I do not know Mrs Harris personally, Her capabilities are very well known to me professionally, our paths having crossed many times over the years, which is more than I can say about the other female lawyers — and that obviously includes you.

          So I was really referring to your comment on Sophia Harris. Your response that you are “very able” to evaluate a complex role in a complex environment shows how little you know and how incapable you are — you don’t even know your own limitations.

          To evaluate the impact of a role like that of a board chair as to effectiveness would involve assessing so many variables that I would wager it would be well night impossible.

          Your attempt to tear down others wreaks of envy and low self esteem.

          • Anonymous says:

            Isn’t it possible that I’m just well connected, happen to know my way around the usual group of persons appointed to public bodies and want to make sure this commission is constituted by people who are going to use their powers rather than just put their meetings in their diaries? I’m not an inferior female lawyer. I’m not going to tell you what qualifies me to comment, but I don’t think those two are up to the job. Speculate as you wish.

    • Anonymous says:

      So 12:4am @20/8: your time will come!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds exactly like envy 12.44 a.m. If you were that good you would have been selected. And what does being “a young person of an important public body” have to do with it? Clearly your sense of your own value is way above where it should be. I mean, just how important can you get in Egomaniacs anonymous?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Pay to play. Will they investigate any incidents of corruption by the ppm who appointed them?

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