Premier calls out ex booze board chair

| 21/03/2018 | 90 Comments
Woody DaCosta, Cayman News Service

Woody DaCosta, host of Cayman CrossTalk

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has described the behaviour of Woody DaCosta, the former acting chair of the Liquor Licensing Board, as “terrible” and accused him of fabricating minutes and manufacturing a meeting that did not occur. During a debate in the Legislative Assembly on a government motion to indemnify the members of that board, the premier told parliament that he wanted to make it clear that the introduction of this protection for the serving members would not cover such “egregious” conduct as shown by DaCosta in connection with a decision over a licence for a gas station.

Da Costa, who had originally been serving as the board’s deputy chair, was booted off the LLB in the wake of the scandal over the Peanuts gas station liquor licence when he had temporarily taken over as chair. When the allegations against him surfaced, an internal government audit was conducted, which, despite the doctored minutes and the apparent phantom meeting, found that the board had acted in good faith in supporting the chair’s decision and actions — a position that the premier is now apparently at odds with.

On Friday he said clearly that DaCosta had, in fact, acted in bad faith, which was why the indemnity would not have protected him.

“We have had very bad conduct by… one former member of the board, Woody DaCosta, who was the acting chairman of the board, who, among other things, appears to have fabricated minutes and it seems manufactured a meeting that did not occur to achieve a particular result — absolutely terrible behaviour,” McLaughlin said, as he pointed out that Cabinet had moved to terminate his appointment.

“In those particular circumstances this indemnity would not cover that sort of behaviour,” he added.

The premier told the members of the Legislative Assembly that the indemnity was not trying to cover that type of “egregious” conduct, as he accused DaCosta of getting on a radio talk show claiming to be a person of integrity and attacking government when he had behaved the way he had.

“The government I lead will not allow that kind of conduct to go on without there being serious consequences,” he said, adding that “those actions were taken in bad faith”.

However, aside from the removal of Da Costa from the board, there were no other consequences and at the time the audit did not find the board had acted in bad faith.

Commerce Minister Joey Hew, who brought the motion, said that it had been “near impossible” to find a chairperson willing to serve on the board after the bad publicity generated by DaCosta. He said that, in the end, they were lucky to have secured the service of the current chair and deputy chair. Those positions are now held by Noel Williams and Lynn Bodden.

CNS contacted DaCosta, the host of a local radio talk show, Friday evening via email for comment but we have not received a response.

Prior to the adoption of the motion to indemnify the Liquor Licensing Board members, the LA also adopted the same measure for the members of the CIMA boards.

See the government debates on the government motions below on CIGTV:

See internal audit in the CNS Library

LLB doctored minutes in ‘Peanuts’ fiasco

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Category: Politics

Comments (90)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Rarely listen to Rooster any more but did catch Austin Harris eloquently and politely destroy the inarticulate, rude DaCosta a couple of weeks ago. Much more entertaining than the usual rubbish.

  2. Anonymous says:

    But do we get booze on Sunday? Who cares about Woodys feelings and Aldens woody. We want booze for sale on Sunday!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t the Premier call out the Minister who got the Director of Tourism to issue invalid hotel licences in Cayman Brac to our so called “now Phantom” investor. She has 3 hotel licences for a 1 bedroom hotel, and 2 three bedroom hotels. There is no such thing under any of our laws but yet still they have issued them to her and without Planning permission. This is unconscionable but the Ministers appear to be able to do as they please and get away with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Until government sets an example this type of gross misconduct will continue. This was the perfect opputunity

    • Anonymous says:

      When the auditors said the board “acted in good faith”. They were referring to the granting of the license to Peanuts. Not all the cover up and altered minutes that took place 3 months later.

      Get the facts straight

  4. Anonymous says:

    someone please explain to me how a person can literally be caught with fraud and be deemed to have acted in good faith?

    • Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

      Just Another Day in Absurdistan

    • Crooked Politician says:

      @ 6:12 I can explain it for you in one word………… CAYMANKIND!

    • Anonymous says:

      Didn’t the Premier punched Elio and knocked him down in th LA a few years ago? Woody better watch out. What a ting!

      • Anonymous says:

        Our Premier is a strong leader and a strong man. These radio hosts need to have there mouth washed out with soap for all the rude comments they make.

    • Anonymous says:

      Precisely. Those auditors need to be audited themselves. Dah wha Dacosta get. No sympathy for him at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden said what we all know, Woody was not acting in good faith he was doing what a lot of boards “do whatever they want” but they got caught. That liquor board has been doing that for a long time but finally someone stood up to them and held them accountable to the law. The audit office report was simply trying to protect the government from liability while acknowledging that the board acted wrong. By the way did Peanuts ever get their license? The last I heard it had been deferred.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I find it unexcusable that Mr. DaCosta can, on a public radio show, name the Premier of the country Misleading McLaughlin. Not once but numerous times over numerous days.

    It is such child like behavior and quite poorly reflects on Hurleys Media. Reign in your talent. Though it appears as a company you feel the same way as Mr. DaCosta to let such shaming continue. I will think twice in supporting your business and the business that you associate with as a result.

    I really miss Jevvy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wonder where he got the nickname idea from
      oh wait

    • Anonymous says:

      Jevvy was great and getting better. Did he leave on his on accord? Would be interesting if he was pushed out since they tout young caymanians and jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      It appears that Rooster Radio is taking a leaf out of the book of Donald Trump by resorting to juvenile and not particularly clever name calling – ie The Compost and Misleading McLaughlin.
      I would expect Hurleys Media to hold their announcers to a higher standard. Please let’s not be influenced by the puerile behaviour of POTUS.
      The points of view are always welcome but not this silly name calling.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just listen to who advertises on the blabble-fest, call em up and tell them to keep their dogs quiet.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No lawyer worth his salt will serve on a board without indemnity.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I actually disagree with most of these comments. I happen to find the show in the mornings informative. Maybe in this instance Mr DaCosta showed some error in judgment but I can see the web that could have caused this, clear conflict of interest. It does not mean he is not doing a great job in the mornings bringing the issues of this country light. We are so quick to tear down our locals while a section of the community is getting away with milking Cayman of everything it has. I cant wait for some of these employment discrimination to come to light.

    I wish Alden was more tactful in his approached to dealing with this as it looks very personal and childish. On the other hand I believe the PPM is doing some good things with the business licenses process and the employment discrimination of Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to see you got so many downvotes. While I don’t care for Warrior Woody and his populist politrics, your comment is well written and even handed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Folks MLA’s can’t be sued for what they say in the LA. I used to allow my children to listen to rooster as part of their education about he issues facing Cayman. However I had to stop when the toxic garage started. I have never heard more fake news in my life.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To the listeners who don’t like Crosstalk, it’s simple, don’t listen to it.

    • Anonymous says:

      typical cayman respone…just like.’.if you don’t like it , leave’….etc.
      no..we will stay and we will demand better!

      • Anonymous says:

        Typical trouble-making expat response. So tell us Oh Great White Hope…why didn’t you show that kind of chuztpah back in your own home country? Why didn’t you stay THERE and demand better from YOUR OWN?

        • Anonymous says:

          Dlnow thats simple conversation. *cricketts*

        • Anonymous says:

          Because Cayman needs help from well educated and productive expats for this place to function….ignoramus!

          • Anonymous says:

            Well educated and productive expats! What a crock! You don’t want to help Cayman! You want to line your pockets while basking in it’s warmth! You are racist, hateful and greedy! Go to hell!

    • Anonymous says:

      They sow discontent, xenophobia, and false facts and that should matter to everybody whether they tune in or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like comedy shows

  10. Anonymous says:

    Shame on you Mr Premier. You could have made your point without mentioning a name. Maybe a law suit against the Premier would be the right way to go.

    Just remember PPM, you’re elected by the people!

  11. annonymous says:

    Government needs to do away with this radio programme. The poor English is enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      BUT it’s not a government entity. It’s Hurleys Media. People pay to advertise on that crap. They need to get a better panel on the show to make sense of it, and some actually training in radio presentation because they have no idea what they are doing. They announce their time checks are coming up instead of just doing the dumb money making thing. I would suggest you get what you call a paper caymanian to be on the show with one of the caymanian hosts. Then you get both sides and hopefully a good debate, not this tooting each others horn and not calling out the idiots who call in.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Then maybe the Government should provide training for their Boards on what is, and is not, the proper way to run said boards. – It can’t be ‘bad faith’ if a person thought hey were doing the right thing and didn’t know any better.

    (N.B. this comment has no direct bearing on Woody & the Liquor Board, the report of which I haven’t bothered to read. It is (a) advice based on serving on other CIG Boards and (b) a general principle.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Or better still, perhaps all boards should be independent.

      • Anonymous says:

        Even if independent (whatever you mean by that) they still need to make sure to act in ‘good faith’, ‘appropriately’, etc. So training is still needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you really think an acting chairman of a board should need training that fabricating board minutes is, you know, just a little bit sketchy? You can’t teach ethics.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, you can. Its done all the time around the world.

        Now, we could suggest that chairpersons, even acting ones, should have enough experience serving on boards/whatever that they know you don’t fabricate minutes. But it could also be suggested that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and minutes are not a verbatim record of a meeting but a record of the decisions made. If the decision was, in an extension of the meeting via email, altered, then an argument could be made that a good-faith effort was made to have the minutes reflect the final decision. That that effort fell flat and dug itself a whole to die in and then began to stink simply speaks to the fact that … people need training/guidelines on what is and what is not the right way to do things. Experience only works if the people you ‘interned’ under did it right in the first place. So rather than assuming that the chairperson’s previous board experience was correct it is better to set out clearly what is or is not considered proper/ethical procedure for a particular board. And given how many CIG have it would make sense to have one set of standards/training that they all receive. To avoid repeating this mistake.

    • Anonymous says:

      Create new Board/s to govern existing Boards!

  13. Anonymous says:

    so true! ELio let the people speak!

  14. Anonymous says:

    been here 13 years and they still talk about the same nonsense…..

    • Anonymous says:

      You will have understand the Caymanian perspective with your arrogant attitude. This country does not need people like you to get PR.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Do we have a liquor licensing inspector, or have they been quietly sent on some kind of 4 year paid holiday? There are many bars and late night nightclubs taking cover charges and admitting dozens of high school 15 year olds without any kind of ID check. These clubs need to be fined and/or put out of business, and the liquor inspectors replaced (if such positions exist). The landlords of these properties should be very concerned about the liability of one of these minor children getting hurt on their property – even if it’s just a kid stumbling down the stairs and cracking their head – it’ll be on them.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are inspectors but, as you questioned, it would appear they have been sitting on their asses for quite some time now with no enforcement efforts or to monitor what is happening at these liquor licensed establishments. As a matter of fact, DCI should be made to account for exactly what its enforcement section has been doing for the past four years. And if there have been no changes to the music law for Sunday nights, why are all of these bars, nightclubs and now restaurants that are holding these Sunday night events involving live music being allowed to get away with it without any action being taken against them for breaking the law? Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with music/dancing on a Sunday but, if a certain bar in East End was taken to court some time ago for having a DJ play on a Sunday, it’s not fair that DCI is now ignoring the others that are out there doing the same thing. I believe the transparency begins with this department that seems to have made a bloody mess of liquor licensing since taking it over.

  16. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    You think this is new?? Phantom meetings? Look to both boards and see what was passed with a quorum of one — issues that affect all of us.

    Issues of this magnitude should be settled by referendum; many/most voters I talk with express a lack of feeling represented by their MLAs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Crosstalk has slowly gone downhill over the years
    to the point where now we all know the crowds that call in the same 35-50 people on rotation call into all of the shows with the same stale ideas inflating their egos and the hosts
    They occasionally make points and have logical criticisms but between the incessant and unnecessary bible beating, use of tropes, clear political motivations and personal grudges, attacks on generalities and groups who are not given an opportunity to defend themselves
    The show is basically a toxic wasteland run by and for the resentful in Cayman

    • Revelations 3:45 says:

      It’s called talk radio what exactly did you think talk radio is supposed to do other than provoke public debates and educate the public? Anyone can call in so multiple views can be shared. Try it sometime to change the tone or offer another perspective.

      The discrimination against Caymanians is very real. Yet it appears locals are expected to know their place and remain silent so as not to offend the Caymanian business owners or management and expatriates who are overtly disrespectful of locals and Caymanian culture which is unacceptable.

      Talk radio allows for persons to ask questions, challenge the obvious nonsense, shower praise where appropriate or just vent. Freedom of Speech is protected in the Constitution 2009 and Caymanians are starting to use across multiple forums. It works because politicians, civil service management and business leaders all listen in and hate the public pressure and fear potentially being exposed for potential wrong doings and the corruption that is institutionalized in Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but expats call in, say something that offends some Caymanian, file a report, that person has a hard time getting PR/work permit. Not gonna happen when every local is so damn touchy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. It is “unlistenable”. Just long winded platitudes, ranting and failed attempts at humour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Freedom of speech anyone?

      • Anonymous says:

        Freedom of speech doesn’t mean the speech is good. (Worth listening to.) Just that you’re free to say any stupid thing you want and we’re free to say … see above.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true, I don’t listen much anymore . To hear DaCosta boast about what he have and on every Connor of this island etc. its getting too much. I agree the show has gone down and the same people do call in over and over again the only change are the days of the week. Time for this show to end. here here 🙂

      • Marl Karx says:

        The show is based on a good and even necessary idea I’d say
        It needs a reboot, a new format, new hosts and new ideas
        We need all Caymanians calling in not just the 20 elderly persons who call in on every show in Cayman because they are home all day with nothing better to do, We need people calling in separate from political hopefuls, so-called activists and advocates.
        That show could be a pillar of conversation in Cayman where everyone could have representation, now it is just a husk of it’s potential run by two bitter men with a grudge against the Government
        I mean for God’s sake, It hasn’t even been a year since Ellio lost against and came THIRD overall receiving less than 15% of the vote, but he is on the radio expected to be fair and unbiased and providing information to the people? Sorry but I don’t care how mature or professional someone claims to be If I saw Hillary Clinton on CNN running a show or reporting the News on Trump I would take it with a large helping of salt. There is a reason why these political hopefuls are meant to go away for a bit after the election, the people didn’t choose them but here they are making noise and controversyl
        They have served their purpose, if I was in charge of Rooster I would call them both in, shake their hands and say “Thank you for your contribution and good day”

        There is a way to run an informative and interesting talk show without it being as toxic as it currently is, this has nothing to do with Political correctness or my views compared to theirs, it is simply the atmosphere they create is not conducive to actual conversations and discourse on the issues, they both have run before, they both came to the table with their preset beliefs and policies and a lot of the criticisms they levy are simple differences in opinion with the government they have turned the show into something that no one wants a 3 hour session of bitter “back seat driving”

    • Waskally Wabbits says:

      On the flip side of that coin is the ‘Compost’ pooplication and their propagandized spin doctoring which is of the same quality and/or lack thereof of journalistic integrity and disingenuous literary diarrhea, albeit from the other side of the divide, supposedly. Don’t stop the carnival.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Peanuts should sue the government and individual board members!

    • Anonymous says:

      He probably will, and the government (us) will have to pay the bill. He has kept quiet on the issue only Robbie Hamaty still making noise.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Misleading McLaughlin’s and Joey Who’s actions were an abuse of privilege in the House.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I hope woody sues Alden and Joey for defamation.

    • Anonymous says:

      At the same time, Alden and Joey should sue Woody for defamation. But really, that’s like kids in the sandbox suing other kids in the sandbox for throwing sand.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If DaCosta as Chairman acted in bad faith based on representations of the Premier and Minister Hew in parliament why haven’t there been any investigation and formal charges brought against him for abuse of office by a public official?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how this impacts former minister Wayne Panton’s funding and support of the Progressives?

  23. POLITRICKS101 says:

    Woody DaCosta was once good enough to run on the Progressive political platform and sit on multiple politically appointed boards led by Alden McLaughlin who endorsed him as a quality candidate and a man of substance, vision and integrity so what happened?

    Let the political vendettas play out in the LA under parliamentary privilege masked as leadership.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Our Premier is helping people and trying his best but for some of the comments made on that radio show is very disrespectful and mean towards or leader. Please stop it and look at all the great things our leader and the Unity team are doing for our country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yo, freedom of speech and the right to criticize the government are the fundamentals of a democratic society. So sorry if it hurts feelings, thats the deal.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The irony of Alden calling Woody essentially a liar or fraud you has acted in bad faith is shocking.
    Has he stopped to consider his own political legacy and the decisions he makes frequently to advance his on personal or political agenda? He compromised his party and own integrity by proving he is the ppm version of mac bush by joining forces for the unity government to maintain power. A political prostitute posing as a leader.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Alden, you are Premier representing a noble people. Stop behaving like a bully. Mistakes may have been made, but your conduct is inappropriate and beneath your office. If Woody has done the things you say he has done, there should be police investigations and if appropriate, prosecutions. That is not what is happening. You are simply unnecessarily and inappropriately kicking a man when he is already down.

  27. Anonymous says:

    At the end of the day, all we want to know is if they have upheld the original decision and intent that Peanuts be able to sell likker on a Sunday!

    We already know that someone was altering the minutes and I was both shocked and pleased that the person in question was fired.

  28. Anonymous says:

    And what about the rest of us that are crazy enough to try and serve honestly and to the best of our ability on these boards!! why doesn’t Govt think about the consequences for all when they try to appease the few.

  29. Anonymous says:

    hard to feel sorry for woody after you listen to him on rooster…..

  30. Anonymous says:

    woody…now the host of one of the worst radio shows in the world…which should now be renamed ‘elio’s daily sermon’.

  31. Anonymous says:

    “bad faith” has not been proven in grand courts in any cases? that is why your government alden removed section 12 of the HSA law in protecting employees of HSA, including doctors???
    that is why the government is liable and not individual employees for their actions, as government has some bad fsith protection gor it’s employees as well?

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