Attorney-General Says Veco Has Been “At All Times Entirely Above Board” With All Barbados Work
Barbados Attorney-General Dale Marshall made some very definitive statements yesterday about VECO’s prison contract – but he sounded suspiciously like a man with a fire hose trying to put out a cane field blaze before it gets out of control. As Barbados Free Press indicated when we broke the story in Barbados…
On Friday, May 4, 2007, American politicians and businessmen were indicted in a bribery scheme involving VECO Corporation, a company that is heavily involved with the Barbados government and various Barbados politicians and business people. VECO’s Barbados projects include the oil terminal and pipeline, and the building of the new prison.
At least one of the arrested Alaska politicians was secretly recorded by the FBI in conversations where he spoke about receiving a position with VECO’s Barbados prison operations. As there are hundreds of hours of police recordings, there is no doubt that further Barbados revelations will occur at the trial…
… The company has often been criticized for having a corporate culture of unethical behaviour, bribes and undermining democracy. (Obviously, the American Federal Bureau of Investigation would probably agree with that statement.)
If VECO Corporation has acted unethically on their home turf of Alaska, one has to wonder what they might be guilty of in a foreign country like Barbados.
How unlike an experienced politician like Dale Marshall to not give himself any wiggle room at all. He says that everything VECO ever did for the Government of Barbados was “above board”. That is quite a conclusion considering that Mr. Marshall launched no investigation, asked for no assistance from the police and interviewed no witnesses.
The FBI sure didn’t tell Dale Marshall that everything in Barbados was “above board” !
Dale Marshall also says that VECO company officials “have assured me they never made any representation to any individual that they could or would be posted to Barbados to work as a prison warden or any post in the Government of Barbados,”
That is quite a statement – considering that the FBI made tape recordings of phone conversations where an American politician talked about exactly those assurances with VECO executives.
So where is Dale Marshall going with this? Aha! We can see it now…
The Case Is Closed As Far As Dale Marshall Is Concerned
Marshall and his government have to put out this fire quickly before it grows and the best way of doing that is to point out that the CEO of VECO has pleaded guilty and gone to jail. “See folks? It’s all over! Doesn’t involve Barbados. Nothing to see here… move along. Move along.”
Here’s what Dodging Dale said…
“The issues in relation to bribery and corruption are issues which are being dealt with by a United States court. The chief executive officer of the company [Bill J. Allen] has pleaded guilty to bribery charges and resigned his position.
“But I am satisfied that the company’s relationship with Barbados and the work they are doing for the Government of Barbados has at all times been entirely above board, and at no time is there any hint of a scandal in relation to the contracting of that company for the work on the prison or other work that they have previously done for the Barbados Government,”
… from The Nation News (link here)
Not So Fast, Mr. Attorney General!
The founder and CEO of VECO, Bill J. Allen, pleaded guilty to save his son from going to jail. The FBI has hundreds of hours of investigations and phone taps and Mr. Allen Sr. has pledged to cooperate with further inquiries. VECO gave millions in “campaign donations” to the Bush Republicans – and the Democrats are rising in power so it is a little premature to declare everything is over, don’t you think Mr. Marshall?
Answer These Questions Publicly, Dodging Dale…
1/ How much money did VECO give to the BLP or to party members “campaign donations” in the last 12 years?
2/ Did any of those “campaign donations” find their way into the personal bank accounts of any BLP members?
3/ What gifts were received from VECO by government members or their relatives?
4/ How many subcontractors at the jail project and the oil terminal project are related to or otherwise associated with members of the Barbados Government?
5/ Does or did VECO employ any political lobbyists in Barbados and are any of them related in any way to members of government?
6/ Does or did VECO employ any consultants in Barbados and are any of them related in any way to members of government?
Those questions will do for a start, Mr. Attorney General, but maybe some of our readers have additional questions.
This VECO bribery scandal isn’t over, Mr. Marshall. Not by a long shot…