PLP: Minister Earl Deveaux is in a conflict of interest

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Progressive Liberal Party
15th September 2010

For Immediate Release

STATEMENT BY PLP: The PLP condemns the behavior of Minister Earl Deveaux for recently accepting free rides on a luxury helicopter owned by an investor with an application before the cabinet for approval; one of the free rides was to Abaco to attend a film screening.

The PLP further condemns the minister’s arrogant and dismissive attitude toward the whole matter. When questioned about the free rides and in the face of overwhelming evidence, the Minister flatly denied that he was in a conflict between his personal interest and his public duty, or that he received an unreasonable benefit in the capacity of a Government Minister. The minister also claimed that if presented with similar opportunities in the future, he would do it again.

We remind the minister about the FNM inspired and morally extensive “Standards of conduct for ministers of Government” that was published in the FNM’s 2007 Manifesto:

“Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duty and their private interests”. Further, “Ministers must avoid accepting any gift or hospitality, which might appear to compromise their judgment or place them under improper obligation”.

Clearly Minister Deveaux’s actions and arrogance are not becoming of an elected official and he demonstrated incredibly poor judgment. Public officials must understand that the perception of impropriety in governance is as bad as impropriety and malfeasance. The


Environment Minister Earl Deveaux

Minister’s actions surely fall in this category since he was island hopping on a helicopter owned by a private investor who has an application before Cabinet to dredge 9 acres in the Exuma Land and Sea Park, specifically a 15 feet channel to accommodate his private yacht. This is unprecedented as the Government has never permitted a private land owner to dredge a protected area for private use.

Further, the PLP would like to know how the public interest is protected and served by the government granting permission for the dredging of a protected marine habitat for purely private use and personal convenience.

The PLP is constrained to question whether or not the gift of $1 million to the Bahamas National Trust by Aga Khan, facilitated by Minister Deveaux, was a veiled act of bribery to purchase the silence of the BNT to “look the other way” while Minister Deveaux and his cabinet colleagues approve the destruction of nine acres of a protected marine habitat in the Exumas near Bell Island.

It would be a dereliction of duty for the BNT, the environmental watchdog and protector of the environment, to lose its voice over this application before cabinet, but any indication, appearance, or implication of coercion by the government in this apparent “quid pro quo” arrangement is corruption in its rankest form and a breach of public trust.

Based on the principle of collective responsibility, the leader of the cabinet, the Right Honorable Prime Minister, is culpable and must accept full responsibility for the behavior of his cabinet colleagues.

Finally, the PLP received information that Minister Deveaux publicly stated that he tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister on Monday, 13th September 2010, but the same was not accepted by the Prime Minister. If this is so, the PLP strongly urges the Prime Minister to publicly state his reasons for rejecting the resignation, in light of the FNM inspired “Standards of conduct for ministers of Government.”

The PLP assures the general public that it will pursue this matter more vigorously and in greater detail when Parliament reconvenes.

  • I don’t believe that it should just be a resignation if there were corrupt practices then he needs to be dealt with accordingly. We need to stop at just asking them to resign because if government officials know that they will be facing jail time instead of just a slap on the wrist then alot of them would think three times before doing anything. He really should know better because he is a senior and season M.P

  • Pat

    Mr. Deveaux and Mr.Ingraham have no shame. They campaigned on all of the so called back door deals,made by the former administration. Here we now have a government who does NOT listen to the people, people they asked to TRUST them. They were going to be transparent, Not going to APPEAR to make back door deals. But what hae we here? A MInister dealing with a matter with Mr.Khan’s Company, Joyriding in his helicopter, (his words, not) mine. Blatent Conflict of Interest. This Government cried shame on the former administration for having Kenyatta Gibson remain in parliment, but (where is he now?) If Mr. Earl (THE GROUCH) did in fact offer his resignation, and if in fact the Prime Minister did not accept it, then Both of them Should be Fired.

  • these guys have no shame, so why resign, where is the outcry….boy we do need a change, but i dont see it coming anytime soon…

  • It is of no surprise to me that the Prime Minister would not accept the Minister’s resignation. If Deveaux is resigning on the perceived “conflict of interest” and Mr. Prime Minister accepts, then it would be only prudent for Mr. Prime Minister to resign as well. Was it not he that went on a wonderous trip to South Africa paid for by Sol Kerzner while his government is at the centre of the Baha Mar situation? Considering Kerzner is a direct competitor if the Baha Mar project were to succeed (and the project’s success would be a threat to Atlantis), I see a clear conflict of interest there….Mr. Prime Minister — bossom buddies with the competitor. Please…Deveaux probably used this type of “leadership” to help him make the decision that the helicopter rides were O.K.

    The educated 20 somethings of this country are watching and patiently waiting to make our move…can’t wait until these arrogant leaders give up the ghost and allow this country to grow.

    • patient youth, ah really don’t think it’s quite the same thing, now.
      ya really lil off base der, I got the jist of what you’re saying with the offering to resign and the refusal to accept, but I don’t think you made the case to say the PM’s action is a conflict of interest because he accepted an invite from Sir Sol, and have a pending matter with Sarkis and the Chinese.

  • (truth or consequences says: Grouper mouth wisdom: Why not just deal with the matter at hand as opposed to all your generalizations?)

    I can answer your question quickly, but first let me suggest that while it’s OK for you to criticize the indiscretions of Minister Deveaux, please stay above the belt and demonstrate some respect, by not throwing a low ball at his family. The Minister, who can select to defend his actions but his family cannot. I am not calling for the Minister’s resignation but an apology is in order. Now back to your question to me? The only generalizations I am making is that Bahamians, like some from my own family, friends and people I know and talk with are hurting badly, and I am opposed to those who think the problem is NOT much deeper than any one or two Cabinet Ministers. Maybe things are good for you and family. I hope so. Truth is many Bahamians believe some in the PLP had helped themselves so often to the Big Cookie Jar, that the FNM had to restock it with even more Foreign Loot? Your take on Christie dealing quickly with the wrongs of his cabinet Ministers, is a total joke in itself, so much so that it may just have cost him his job as PM? “Will the honest men and women please stand up for all the Bahamians?” We need to elect new blood to The House Of Assembly, good men and women who love their Bahamas and want to serve their constituents, and not be instant big shots. Seems once elected, even before they can put on their parliamentarian monkey suit, done start falling over each other trying to fatten-up themselves, their wives, friends money backers and lovers. We already know how we kicked out the UBP, the PLP and even the FNM. So maybe it’s time for us to ask Independents to stand for office, and we darn well must go on Election Day and vote them in. If we did this it would scare the hell out of Ingraham and Christie. Time for the people to have a real say. We’re tired of seeing you big shots and your families riding around like kings and queens in the back seat of a chauffeur driven government car, while the citizens cannot even find work and pay their family minimum expenses. We afraid to even turn on the lights because we can’t afford the electricity from the government. Our families are dead scared of the criminals you even allow out on bail after they kill and steal from us. We got to wait at the airport for hours praying the plane going even come for us, much less take off from airport. Ain’t no luxury helicopter ever going come to pick us, our wives and buddies up, for even a little tease free ride over the harbor. The people are fed up. We’re tired and hurting while you fly around in rich foreign folks planes and helicopters.. No more of your nonsense. You’ve all had too many sunny summer days, while it been pouring hell down on our families and us. Let’s send a message to Ingraham and Christie that the faces in the House, starting with the next election, is only the beginning to the many eventual changes in who we will elect to the House. Remember the first administration of Pindling’s government was only made possible because two Independent Members were elected to the House and through their support behind Pindling. I say it’s time for Bahamian election history to repeat itself, by taking back the Independence that we were promises from day one of Pindling’s government. I ain’t talking no foolishness because it happened before and can happen again? We’re ain’t going take much more of your political skullduggery. Are we the People ready to accept the Challenge that; “It’s Time For Bahamians To Bring Back New Blood Independent Parliamentarians?” It’s for us time to show off that it is We The People, and not the big shots, who will hold the real power after the General Elections? I always pay gratitude to my auntie Rosy Grouper Mouth, for handing down her clear wisdom to her nephew. Bless your peaceful soul.

  • Dana Rolle

    EARL DEVEAUX SHOULD RESIGN, IMMEDIATELY!!!!!