Speaker U-turns on contempt motion

| 27/06/2018 | 65 Comments
Cayman News Service

McKeeva Bush, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

(CNS): Efforts by the Public Accounts Committee chairman to have the Legislative Assembly debate a contempt motion over allegations that the health ministry’s chief officer, Jennifer Ahearn, misled the committee during its October hearing were thwarted by the speaker of the House on Wednesday. Having signed off on the motion, Speaker McKeeva Bush claimed that he had considered it a private member’s motion when he did so, and when the opposition leader tried to present it ahead of government business, Bush told him that he had failed to follow the process for it to be a privilege motion and ruled against it.

PAC chair and opposition leader Ezzard Miller had always intended the motion to be handled under the parliament’s privileges and immunity law. However, Bush indicated that he did not believe that was the case and thought the listed names of the the rest of PAC on the motion and signatures from three committee members were just for support and not because they were seeking for it to be dealt with as a matter of privilege. He said he did not think the title of the motion, “Public Accounts Motion on Privileges”, indicated that it was necessarily a matter of privilege.

In addition to denying Miller’s attempts to raise it as a privilege motion, he said he believed that Ahearn had tried to answer the question to the best of her ability and he was not persuaded that there was an issue of perjury that the parliament had to deal with.

Bush said the PAC chair had not followed correct procedure to raise the motion as a matter of privilege and ruled against the presentation of the motion.

Speaking to CNS following the decision, Miller said while the speaker had acted within his authority, he did not think his reasons for throwing out the motion were sound because it was quite clear this was not a PMM.

Miller expressed his disappointment over the decision and raised concerns about the message that this sent to senior public servants and the ability of the PAC to hold them to account in the future, as well as the lack of support from government for what is a critically important committee.

However, Miller said that the opposition would be looking at other ways to address the need to hold witnesses to PAC accountable, especially when they give misleading evidence, and he would be discussing the possibility of a no confidence motion.

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Category: Politics

Comments (65)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is he wearing a sheep-wool version of Lord Toad’s driving cap? Parp parp!




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is controlled by the Lodge and nobody wants to talk about it.
    People are so afraid of these thugs.
    Everyone knows what is going on, but when money is your god, you have a price.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You are always on this lodge crap!, what happen, you applied and they wouldn’t let you in.? You are so full of it!




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Mac just played everyone!




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    • Anonymous says:

      9:44am, that’s Cayman Trump. Bias as they come.




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    • Anonymous says:

      And a fine musician he is.

      We the blind, electing the greedy.
      that does the bidding of the foreign, rich and uncaring.
      Have been bamboozled by so few for so long,
      Are oblivious to the BS showered down upon us.

      Shame on us Cayman, shame on us.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    The more I see about what the joker and the devil are doing in the MLA, the more I know this country is irrefutably doomed. We had a chance, we really did but a West Bayer was elected back in and the Premier decided for some reason now was the best time to play ball. The small number of days these clowns meet to “run” our nation is absolutely appalling. Someone else said it right, they treat this as a side job. I understand there is more behind the scenes that just sitting in the MLA building and debating laws but seriously how much behind the scenes is there for them to meet so infrequently?

    These people are not career politicians, they are career pay collectors. These clowns truly need to held accountable for the theft of Government salary. In any other business, you are expected to treat the job you consider your main job as your primary job. You can’t not show up to work day in and day out because you had personal business to attend to, you would get fired. The same should happen here. Being elected to run this country is a privilege not a right. You are being entrusted to guide us, empower us and help raise us up and maintain our standards with pride and dignity.

    People harp on Kenneth, I may not agree with all he says, same as Ezzard but at least they are trying to do something. They are at least trying to find a way to help even if you think it is misguided or not. I would prefer them in, doing the right thing as they see it, albeit horribly than the rest of these fools.

    WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.. Every election day we drink and party with these clowns who promise us the grass will be greener only for us to find out it’s spray painted plastic. AND WE FALL FOR THIS EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!!

    I won’t say shame on them. Shame on us. Shame on the Caymanian voting population as a whole. We argue and complain about things, we drop our jaws in shock when we read about the scandals, we shake our heads when things like the port dock being built without regard or concern of the opinion of the people yet we vote in the people who do it.

    Don’t blame the joker for being in the deck of cards, blame the person(s) who assembled the deck.

    I voted so I also blame myself as well, I am not innocent in this. I will not vote for these fools again. I will vote for new blood, Lord knows they can’t be any worse than what we have now.

    There was a elected official that stepped down, I’d vote for him if I was in his district. At least he had the fortitude to know bullshit when he saw it, I really wish he had stayed in.

    People this island is sinking into a sea of nepotism, corruption, wasteful spending, lodging, negligence and straight up greed. It needs to stop and the people who can stop it is US, the Caymanian voting population. I call for a boycott on voting for anyone who is serving now. The speaker, the Premier and the rest of them have served long enough promising the world and delivering mud, it is time for a changing of the guard.

    I would much rather a politician who promises me nothing but delivers something than one who does the opposite.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The two that gave me thumbs down. What are your views? I would like to know. Not trolling or anything, I seriously want to know you’re views.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Funny, you give thumbs down but hide when I asked your views. Pathetic! Give all the thumbs down you want. More people agree with me than disagree because more and more people are seeing past the crap and realize just how XXXXX we really are. You lot that thumbs down seem to be happy in your ignorant bliss or you have something to lose from a really good shake up?. Thank God you are the minority in the group.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for well considered and written comment. For the most part the good ones in government don’t last. They are disgusted by the status quo of the old boys club and frustrated by the inability to effect change. Look how quickly most of our new independents simply fell in line with Aldart and the Chipmunks? It appears most just wanted their free salary and access to under the table dirty dealings. I also agree with your comments re: Ezzard and Kenneth…they aren’t afraid to rock the boat and speak uncomfortable truths.




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    • Anonymous says:

      @8:23 AMEN!!!!! Every term these guys bullshit us and get re-elected. It does have to stop and next time around? New blood gets my vote. Come on sheeple.. wake up. The wolves are disguised as our protectors. Time to get new shepherds. We need to take our country back! #Protestvote2021 #Newblood2021




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  5. Cayman Ultra says:

    A very crooked U turn indeed as usual aaaah boy Cayman if you only knew ????




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  6. Anonymous says:

    What a mess. I am happy for jennifer. Miller should have known that Barbara, Austin and bush was not going to help him with this witch hunt.. I wonder now if miller will question the joker from port authority on his escapades and whether bush will also be questioned on the part he played in that plot. I believe if bush was not friend- friend with the Premier we would have seen a different out come. Anyway, as they say, “all is well, that ends well”. We will have to wait for the next episode.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This was not about Ahearn or Miller — it was about answering honestly and forthrightly in the Legislative Assembly rather than resorting to avoidance strategies that are totally transparent.

      There was a time when civil servants were respected for their truthfulness and honesty, regardless of what it cost.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Incorrect. This was always about Ezzard puffing out his chest.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Great job honorable speaker; thank you!




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      • Anonymous says:

        This is and always was about a vendetta and witch hunt against a certain individual- or ‘type’ of individual- just prejudice in action.




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        • Anonymous says:

          1:22 — I have seen this post before about attacks on a certain “type” of person—you keep bringing this up.

          The PAC is always going to take a dim view of persons, regardless of their nationality or race, who try to wiggle out of answering questions and therefore frustrate the process. If the PAC does not hold the truth banner high, civil servants will do what Ahearn did — and if they keep doing it —we will normalize it and it will become the status quote to walk all over what is designed to be a process of seeking truth.

          And by the way, this was not the first time that the PAC had concerns about how this officer handled questions — they have expressed concerns many times if you look at their reports—which we would have learned about if the debate had been allowed to proceed.

          So this is not some “witch hunt” as some have been alleging — and by the way, here is the definition of a witch hunt: a campaign against person/s who actually did nothing wrong.

          An objective analysis of the answer in my view — and I think that any reasonable persons would conclude similarly—shows an attempt to dodge answering the question by hiding behind so-called “caveats.” This is called “misinformation” and, by the way, the DG did recognize her responses as being “erroneous”, although he decided she did not intend to do so. Again, the country would have had the opportunity to judge and decide this for themselves had the debate been allowed to happen.

          By the way, if you look at the Penal Code offering misinformation is a very serious offence in the context of giving evidence before any tribunal and attracts very serious penalties. The law takes a very dim view of that type of behavior — and so should the PAC.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Completely agree. What was wrong with saying I do not know may I give you the information tomorrow? Playing games with Ezzard




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    • Anonymous says:

      “In addition to denying Miller’s attempts to raise it as a privilege motion, he said he believed that Ahearn had tried to answer the question to the best of her ability….”

      Seriously? If that is the extent of her ability, we need to replace her. Chief Officers are paid big bucks to have sharp minds and solid memories.




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      • Anonymous says:

        If you were responsible for over a dozen different boards, I’d like to see how your memory would hold up – especially if you were called to appear before the PAC to answer questions on one subject, and then quizzed on something completely different. Ezzard is a bully, and will likely continue with this personal vendetta; because that’s who he is.




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        • Anonymous says:

          She may be over many boards how explain to me how you cannot know an ENTIRE board was replaced. I think you would notice or have heard something about it.




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        • Anonymous says:

          If I had been called while I was in the process of disbanding a board in its entirety and appointing an entirely new board I would not forget, I can assure you.




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          • Anonymous says:

            And the bottom line: The answer to the question that Jennifer answered was not a public secret and could not remain undiscovered. It therefore follows that there was nothing to be gained by lying as the truth was fully discoverable. So the question should be, “why was she not aware, not “why did she lie”.

            End of story.




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            • Anonymous says:

              “Why was she not aware?” Seriously?

              As to “why did she lie”, we had hoped to learn that from the debate — but unfortunately, now we won’t.

              But I bet she had a good reason. And I bet that the PAC knew what the reason was.




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        • Anonymous says:

          11:23 am, 28/06: Here is some information to mull over: Ms. Ahearn submitted a notice on the wholesale change of the board for publication in the Gazette of 25 September 2017. She appeared before the PAC on 12 September 2017.

          What does that tell you? If I need to spell it out, at the time she appeared before the board she was in the process of drafting the notice for the Gazette and initiating, if not undertaking herself, all the impacts of a wholesale change of board.

          It is unacceptable that the Chief Officer for Health has such difficulty in handling the truth or in her recollection of pertinent information.




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    • Observer says:

      “…he was not persuaded that there was an issue of perjury that the parliament had to deal with.”

      So when the Speaker approved the motion to debate the concern as a Private Members Motion it was perjury, but suddenly he does not deem it to be perjury?

      It is clear that whether it was correctly submitted or not is just a smoke screen to try to cover up his caving to pressure. If the correct submission was the only issue, I am sure he has the power to direct that the Motion be re-submitted correctly.

      What we need is a Speaker whose judgement can be relied upon—not one who is blown by every self-serving wind.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Lame and pathetic excuse. Macduffer playing politricks again while a ministry still festers and fails the people. I guess exposing the truth is too painful. This can’t stay under the rug for much longer, the stench is unbearable.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Mislead with the world “believe” is a hard one to sell. This sorry episode says a lot about the motives of the PAC.

    I remember when the PAC was respected. How could Miller/Saunders/Bernie let this happened.

    Thankfully Austin and Barbara distanced themselves from this debacle.

    Way to go Mac!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who has been half paying attention to the work of the PAC could only conclude that there has never been a time when the PAC was more respected than under the leadership of the Hon. Ezzard Miller.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    mac..forever flip-flopping….




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  10. Anonymous says:

    this is why there will never be any accountability in government.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    I cant blame the Speaker. Once he heard that CarePay and Canover Watson may come up in the debate he couldn’t take that chance.

    Many of us in the civil service were looking forward to this debate. We are the ones that are being victimized if we are not seen to be supportive of some of our bosses. They only promote their friends.




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    • Kate says:

      It is obvious to some of us why he would not want CarePay debated in the house. I find it sad and very disturbing, that there are so many borderline retards who continually vote for this man, allowing him to remain in our legislative assembly and most recently, giving him the position of Speaker. This act in my opinion, has shown how little respect politicians have for the House and the people of the Cayman Islands.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Promote and protect…. you think DG going to protect you and me?

      CIVIL SERVANT!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Go Canuks!!




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  12. Anonymous says:

    7:37pm you need to wake up before 2021. You are one of the bullies. Stop supporting wrong doings and allowing space for the future generation to go naked. Persons like you god will put in bed to count the days of your afflictions.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Mac saves the country from Ezzard.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Wait! This is going to cut into my summer vacation…. better put a stop to this….. #laughingstockofthecaribbean




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  15. Lord Denning-Ebanks esq. says:

    If this was the original view of the Speaker it should have never made the agenda. McKeeva Bush needed this stage to pull rank and flex his muscles. Alden and McKeeva together is bad for democracy and any form of mature debate in Cayman.
    The Speaker lacks the integrity to hold the post and any understanding of impartiality.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed and these are the fools people want to lead us to independence. What a f**king joke these idiots are making this country look like. Sad part is, next election day, they will be right back in because the sheeple are easily led to pasture.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Yeh right…suspect he found out that if allowed some awkward truths might come out…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Like what. You can start a lie with the words “I believe”. No one in their right minds could support this nonsense.

      Miller you know better.

      Thank you Mr Speaker.




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      • Anonymous says:

        There are many ways to spin responses if you want to avoid answering the question: “I believe but I am not sure,” “I can’t recall,” “I think this is so, but I don’t have my papers in front of me right now.” This is sudden onset of amnesia amounts to lying. Lawyers see this in court all the time.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I guess it is “nonsense” to allow debate so that the people could make up their minds as to whether there were legitimate concerns.




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      • Anonymous says:

        OK 8.41, I can start it how I like, and based on Mac’s past behavior you would be a fool not to believe that this is why he has changed his mind.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder how much lobbying it took to get the Speaker to do his unsurprising about face? I don’t know enough about the various rules, but it seems very dodgy that he misinterpreted the type of motion despite it clearly being entitled as such.

      Listening to the Speaker in his convoluted explanation I see how endemic the art of Obfuscation has become in our government when we want to avoid facing the ugly truth.




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    • Anonymous says:

      At best, the Speaker’s lack of attention to details is exposed here: He disregarded the title of the Motion–if that was so important, one would have expected him to determine that before he considered whether to allow or not.




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    • Observer says:

      It is clear that in this about face the Speaker would not be allowing the Motion regardless of the banner under which it was submitted. Caving to lobbying forces? Do we need a Speaker who bends and yields to the strongest and most politically or personally advantageous direction?




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      • #EYESWIDESHUT says:

        McKeeva Bush and Alden MCLaughlin must protect each other at all times in order to survive. That is the deal they struck along with settling their lawsuits. It’s a perfect marriage of two colossal narcissistic personalities. Their mission is self preservation not what is best for Cayman. What more evidence does the public need?




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Miller you sent a message to senior civil servants that it is not in their best interest to try and help the PAC. The PAC as we know it well never operate the same again.

    After this blatant attempt at victimization I can’t blame anyone who appears before the PAC to refuse to answer any question unless they have the info in front of them.

    Miller you are failure and you have shown us why you should never be a Minister.

    Now you will understand why darkness spread over these islands in May when it looked like Miller would form a Government.

    He planned this attack for weeks then fell flat on his face.

    Saunders you are just as bad.




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    • Observer says:

      Actually, 7:48 pm, he sent a message to senior civil servants that it is not in their best interest to try to thwart the PAC in its important role.




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    • Anonymous says:

      He who laughs last , laughs best.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Since Ms Ahearn’s memory is so poor, she had the option of responding that she did not have the information in front of her but that she would provide it in writing (yikes) to the PAC.

      Any civil servant coming before the PAC also has that option.




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    • Anonymous says:

      7:48 pm: I will tell you what the “darkness … over these Islands” is — the spectre of not being able to trust the word of anyone, even in the sanctum of the Legislative Assembly.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I think that senior civil servants have gotten the message. Well done, Mr. Miller.




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  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow thank you Mr Speaker. It took you to stop this abuse by Ezzard Bernie and Saunders. Hatred and bullying has no place in Cayman I expected no better from Bernie and Blizzard but Saunders is suppose to know better. Watch him go down in flames with his buddies.

    May 2021 can’t come too fast.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Wow! We have come a long way, imagine ” Mr Speaker and stopping abuse” in the same sentence. What the devil meant for evil, God turned around for good. Mr Speaker it is now your responsibility to treat everyone with the same kindness. You now have to be as gracious to the opposition as you are to the government. Think you can keep it up.




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    • Anonymous says:

      7:37 pm: If it was “abuse” to bring the motion, why did the Speaker approve it originally?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Why would Chris know better? He is learning the bully game from the best of them. You think its bad now? Wait for another few years of him not getting what he thinks he deserves!




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