Ewart Brown's latest corruption scandal- PLP incompetence
Premier is 'disturbed' by turn of events in Curtis investigation
“While I am deeply disturbed at the course this investigation has taken I have pledged the full support, cooperation and diligence of the Ministry towards ensuring that all facts are revealed and justice is served.”
The Bermuda Police Service did not wish to comment. A spokesman said yesterday: “As a general rule we do not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Mr. Curtis’s company Harvest Investment Holdings was paid $374,500 of taxpayers’ money for a faith-based tourism initiative during 2007-8.
The Department of Tourism contract required him to set up ten religious events to bring approximately 2,200 visitors to the Island.
During the course of the year however, members of the church community expressed concern that events such as a ‘Prayer Breakfast’ were not likely to attract people from overseas.
Some even said that one event, ‘Weekend Fit For a King’, never even happened.
Some preachers who did come to Bermuda, such as Bishop John Francis from the UK and Jamal Bryant from the US, complained that Mr. Curtis had never paid them.
Faced with growing criticism, both Dr. Brown and Mr. Curtis denied suggestions the contract was a ‘thank you’ for Mr. Curtis’s role as chairman of the Premier’s Warwick South Central constituency in the 2007 general election.
Former Auditor General Larry Dennis however, questioned why the contract was not put out to tender.
He said Mr. Curtis failed to provide a report of the ten events or a breakdown of visitor numbers.
In the summer of 2008, the Department of Tourism said: “No evidence of financial wrongdoing or misuse of taxpayer money has been found.”
Once Mr. Dennis began an audit of the initiative however, he asked the Police to step in. A Financial Crime Unit investigation was launched in August 2009.
Dr. Brown declined to comment. In February, his press secretary Arnold Minors said there would be no comment during the Police investigation.
Mr. Dennis’s 2007-8 annual report revealed that in April 2007, Harvest Investment Holdings transferred $38,089 to Mr. Curtis and another $11,906 to his credit card.
An additional $20,264 was paid to Vision Construction, also owned by Mr. Curtis, while $30,000 was transferred to Emerald Financial Group.
Mr. Dennis criticised civil servants for a lack of care.
“I have been told incompetence is not criminal. Negligence is, however,” he said.
“The public officers with the responsibility to negotiate and oversee this contract and approve disbursements from the public purse were negligent.”
The Auditor General never found any clear evidence that FBT produced ten faith-based events and 2,200 visitors to Bermuda.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) signed an agreement with Harvest Investment Holding Limited, trading as Faith-Based Tourism (FBT), for the period April 12, 2007 through March 31, 2008 and, for the sum of $400,000 FBT was contracted to produce a minimum of ten faith-based events and deliver a minimum total of 2,200 visitors for Bermuda.
The only thing the steaming pile of excrement, Ewart Brown is 'disturbed' about is being exposed as the conman and thief that he is by this latest corruption scandal
Over the course of time, the skeletons that Andre Curtis knows about pale in contrast to the bigger picture of this country's corruption under Ewart Brown and the PLP.
Tthe fact that the courts didn't freeze his personal assets when Harvest Investment Holdings ponzi scheme blew up says something about the legal system here !
Curtis has gone to and returned from Hawaii already,a man who is still writing rubber cheques but can afford a 3 week vacation trip to Hawaii . while on bail for fraud , theft and corruption.