December 4, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Warnings, interference and being cynical.

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Because of the two recent deaths at Pedro Castle it would seem that warning signs are going to be the order of the day. With a 21 year old man deciding to risk his life by jumping into the sea there less than a week after a teenager did the same thing and drowned, I am just cynical in my old age that I wonder if signs are going to make any difference? However, the authorities must do something. They take the blame when people act stupidly but someone must be censured even if they haven’t really contributed to the accident. I have already said enough on the subject but it does make me angry and very sad when lives are lost so unnecessarily.

Another area of anger and cynicism is interference by top officials to cover up, delay or even alter reports from top civil servants that show them up in a negative light. It should never happen and “will not happen on my watch” is the cry but it does and from the very people who are in place to oversee and stop this very thing.

I am, of course, talking about Operation Tempura and the delay in the release of the Tempura report from the former Auditor General, Dan Duguay in 2009. I applaud John Evans, a former Operation Tempura witness who sought correspondence under the Freedom of Information Law, which revealed that both then, Governor Stuart Jack and then, Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks objected to the way the 2009 report’s findings were presented in several areas.

Cheryll Richards, who at the time was Solicitor General, sought to correct several factual inaccuracies in the report and also addressed its potential impact involving the two criminal trials involving individuals arrested during the course of Operation Tempura – former Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon and former Cayman Brac MLA Lyndon Martin. However, after the auditor’s report was redrafted, M/s Richards on 14th July 2009 said in her opinion the second draft report, “in so far as the facts cited are within our knowledge, there are no apparent difficulties.”

Mr. Duguay’s report was, however, not released until after the two defendants, Dixon and Martin, were found not guilty of public misconduct in October 2009.

There is no doubt, in my opinion and it is only MY opinion, that there were attempts to bury what happened. Mr Evans has publically said this on another media house site, so it is not just my opinion….

Take no notice, though, I am just a cynic.

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