Dominica Prime Minister Sues Journalist Matt Peltier – For Asking How He Became A Millionaire On A Public Servant’s Salary

Our cheap Super Bowl Sunday post for 2011!

What can I say? I picked Aaron Rodgers to lead the Packers to victory and I was correct. I win one beer that Robert would have bought for me anyway. I’m having to find another article to post for Sunday because Robert isn’t finished his promised article about why REDjet’s aircraft are the Pic’o the crop. And, as you might imagine, we’ve all had one or two drinks watching the game so I needed something quick.

The Times of Dominica blog just linked to an older BFP article about Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit so I’m bringing our article to the top for a day because it makes a few points as we look back over three years later…

  • The article was published on October 24, 2007 and by that time DLP fans had turned on Barbados Free Press for continuing to call down then Opposition leader David Thompson for failing to declare that the DLP would bring in Integrity Legislation if elected.
  • A month and a bit later in December of 2007 in the middle of the election campaign, the DLP and David Thompson declared that they would introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws within 100 days of forming a government.
  • The DLP and David Thompson also promised that they would introduce a Ministerial Code addressing conflicts of interest “IMMEDIATELY” upon being elected.
  • The DLP and David Thompson lied to us to get elected. The DLP is now in its fourth year of power with a majority government that can do whatever it wants in terms of legislation – but they didn’t so much as declare the Ministerial Code which they could have easily done by making it policy.
  • Barbados still lacks Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information, Ministerial Code etc etc etc. The DLP and Thompson lied.
  • BLP Member of Parliament Dr. Duguid says that Barbados politicians will never introduce Integrity Legislation. It’s not going to happen according to Dr. Duguid, who is moving to Canada permanently to join his family there as soon as his term ends.

The comments section of this article from 2007 makes for interesting reading. Already the hardcore DLP supporters and insiders knew in October 2007 that they would never introduce Integrity Legislation.

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

Marcus

Here’s our original article published October 24, 2007…

Million Dollar Assets, $5,000 Salary!

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit doesn’t like being asked how he became a millionaire on a politician’s salary – so he is suing The Times newspaper in Dominca and editor Journalist Matt Peltier.

To Matt Peltier’s everlasting credit, the journalist refused an opportunity to “apologize” for his terrible mistake of attempting to hold an elected official accountable for all that money that seems to appear out of nowhere when a person takes office most places in the Caribbean. Unlike our own Voice of Barbados radio that caved and paid off our millionaire Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, the owners of The Times have decided to fight for freedom of the press in Dominica.

Our Heroes: The Times Of Dominica & Editor Matt Peltier!

It all started when The Times published an article asking how it was that the Prime Minister acquired a million dollars worth of real estate on his politician’s salary. You know, the kind of a story that The Nation News or the Barbados Advocate have NEVER investigated. The article Million Dollar Assets, $5,000 Salary sent Dominica politicians into a tizzy: How DARE the press ask where we got all that money! (hmmm… sounds like our own Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, doesn’t it? Have a listen to Noel Lynch here)

When no apology was forthcoming, Prime Minister Skerrit launched a lawsuit – and no, he still hasn’t explained the sweetheart land deal that is at the center of the corruption.

A website in support of journalist Matt Peltier has been established – appropriately called The Matt Supporters Club – We Shall Resist This Creeping Dictatorship!

Here is a little sample of REAL INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM of the type that the Barbados lapdog press hasn’t the courage or integrity to do…

Our investigations reveal that on August 8th, 2005, Prime Minister Skerrit purchased a 2.06-acre portion of the Hartington Estate in Trafalgar. On September 1st, 2005, he purchased an additional 2.989 acres – part of the Wallhouse Estate. Indications are Skerrit paid cash in the Trafalgar transaction and secured bank financing for not more than 33% percent of the 2005 market price of the Wallhouse land.

Professionals in the field of land valuation indicate that at the time of purchase, fair market value for the Hartington Estate property was approximately $448,000.00 while the value estimate for the Wallhouse Property was $650,000.00. It however appears from the registration documents that the land was purchased for about $1.00 a square foot in the case of the Wall house property and $1.01 per square foot for the Trafalgar acquisition.

Since land in both areas have been sold at significantly higher rates, these suggested purchase prices raise questions about the land values used for the purpose of calculating taxes paid to the government for registration and the transfers of title to Skerrit.

Observers are noting that both acquisitions surfaced in the wake of the 2005 general election – an event characterized by the Dominica Labour Party’s lavish multi-million dollar spending at a time when it was burdening citizens with the most painful economic adjustment programme in the history of this country.

It is now widely expected that Mr. Skerrit will explain how he has been able to secure these and other personal assets conservatively valued at well over one million dollars on his legal income as a Minister of Government since February 2000…

… an excerpt from The Times article Million Dollar Assets, $5,000 Salary

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22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

22 responses to “Dominica Prime Minister Sues Journalist Matt Peltier – For Asking How He Became A Millionaire On A Public Servant’s Salary

  1. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    I marvel at your gusto to publish a story like this !

    When we all recall in March of this year…….when the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal opposition questioned Owen Arthur ( PM ) on the floor of parliament about a $ 750,000.00 cheque lying in his personal account……have you sought to get a clarification from Owen during one of your
    ” regular ” interviews with him…..?

    It would be interesting to hear what he told you about that matter !

  2. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    Would you interview Owen about the $ 750,000.00 cheque….?

    You see….I asked that question given your
    ” apparent ” penchant for Integrity & Accountabilty in government……..!

    Ooopss………I forgot that it is the DLP you want to implement such legislation….!

    ***********************

    BFP Comments

    Hi Jerome

    Yes we would like to see the DLP institute integrity legislation. We’ve been calling on the BLP and the Prime Minister to do so since Jan 16, 2006 or thereabouts. Of course, if we had an effective opposition and opposition leader there wouldn’t even be a need for Barbados Free Press!

    Cheers,
    C

  3. Jerome Hinds

    BFP Comments

    Hi Jerome

    Yes we would like to see the DLP institute integrity legislation. We’ve been calling on the BLP and the Prime Minister to do so since Jan 16, 2006 or thereabouts. Of course, if we had an effective opposition and opposition leader there wouldn’t even be a need for Barbados Free Press!

    Cheers,
    C
    ********************************************

    In case you have forgotten……there is a Cabinet of Ministers in Barbados of which Owen Arthur……is FIRST among equals….!

    There is a Parliament of Barbados where Owen Arthur enjoys the SUPPORT of the majority of members supporting him & the BLP….!

    David Thompson and his DLP party has given adequate ventilation to many of the critical issues affecting Barbados……!

    Is that your definition of ” Of course, if we had an effective opposition and opposition leader “….?

    If that is the case……then by your your own ARGUMENT…..BFP is also FAILING to provide
    ” effective opposition & leadership……

    DESPITE your adequate ventilation of the many critical issues affecting Barbados……!

    BFP you are either middle ground…..or in the MIDDLE of the road…..!

  4. Something we should all look up too, but I can’t leave out that the cost of living is higher here than it is in Dominica. Perhaps our journalists are “putting food first” and concentrating on staying afloat, with bills the way they are these days. I’m not saying that Matt has nothing to lose, it just asks who in the local mainstream wants to go hungry for “truth”.

  5. Anonymous

    I never liked Dominican prime minister Skerritt from the time he was appointed.

    I found him to be quite arrogant,plus to me had a very sneaky look.

    In all a little boy in big man clothes.

  6. reality check

    “In case you have forgotten……there is a Cabinet of Ministers in Barbados of which Owen Arthur……is FIRST among equals….!”

    Someone is relying on very strong hallucinatory medications!

    This is pure theory.

    The creeping dictatorship has been well into its 13th year now and the opposition has appeared to be non existent or worse, complicit.

    So much for a parliamentary concept. The theory probably still exists in Zimbabwe too but at least they have an opposition that is trying to be heard.

  7. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    I am before you again !

    I marvel at your gusto to publish a story like this about the Dominican Prime Minister and government !

    But a few weeks ago……Rommel Marshall was hauled before the courts for not paying in NIS contributions deducted from employees working at his establishment !

    A CRIME UNDER THE LAWS OF BARBADOS…!

    BFP , you wrote no articles on that….!

    Was it because it was a matter before the courts ?

    So too is the Dominican story !

    But no…….in light of the Rommel Marshall story you took pleasure in publishing the story below :

    ” Monday, October 22nd, 2007…4:24 pm

    Harold Hoyte At Nation News: Integrity Not An Important Character Trait To Be Prime Minister Of Barbados ”

    Using the same article you now claiming that you ” want to see Integrity Legislation adopted ” in Barbados.

    But Rommell Marshall & the BLP who have FLOUTED laws of this country…….will go on to NOMINATE Rommell Marshall for the up coming general election…….!

    And BFP says not a word…….not an article about INTEGRITY on this issue !

    BFP you are either middle ground…..or in the MIDDLE of the road…..!

    ******************************************

    BFP replies…

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We don’t know whether to be upset that we failed to cover a story that Jerome wanted us to cover and we should have covered IF only we had more hands…

    Or to be happy that folks are trying to look at us like we are a real news organization?

  8. Wishing in Vain

    Anyone noticed how late the online version of the Nation is today not yet posted and is usually up by about 3.00 am does it have anything to do with that advertisment that they published yesterday that has sent a chill down the dreamer Farley.
    I am one of those that has chosen not to buy a Nation for two weeks in protest of there dishonest and poor writings.

  9. Jerome Hinds

    BFP replies…

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We don’t know whether to be upset that we failed to cover a story that Jerome wanted us to cover and we should have covered IF only we had more hands…

    Or to be happy that folks are trying to look at us like we are a real news organization?
    **********************************************

    BFP,

    No hard feelings……I understand…..after your regular ” interviews ” with Owen Arthur…….your PUBLISHER’S hands have become tied….!

    So…..DEATH to the long promised money – laundering story….!

    Bajans no longer want HONEST & TRANSPARENT leaders…….like the Hon. David Thompson….!

    Therefore…….BFP has RENEGE on it’s promise to highlight the CROOKERY……in it’s promised money – laundering story….!

    BFP…….you are doing a fine job….!

    Bravo !

    **************************

    BFP replies

    Jerome…

    I guess we will never satisfy you until we lay off the DLP and only concentrate on the government while ignoring the fact that the DLP hasn’t taken one action to implement integrity legislation or conflict of interest rules for their people. We will just have to agree to disagree, then.

    But as far as we can see there’s not a whole lick o difference between the two piggies vying for the trough!

  10. Hants

    Jerome Hinds…….you is a boy I like but…..

    Ease up off a BFP.

    These guys are not journalist although they are outperforming the “mainstream journalist” in Barbados.

    This is a blog not a regular daily newspaper.

    All you have to do is keep writing your comments on issues and even write “off topic” and your writings will gain momentum.

    keep up your attack on the BLP but be nice to BFP. They are doing us a favour.

  11. Bush Tea

    All due respect to you BFP, but don’t you think that Jerome has something of a point?

    Look at it this way…

    Two people applied for the job of managing our company -Barbados Inc. We conducted interviews (attended public meetings etc) and then decided (voted) to hire manager Mr. ‘B’.
    The manager get real high handed, spend out we money, hold big-up party, build a big pyramid for $150 million and start selling out all of we assets to he friends…

    … and you on a big campaign cussing the next man Mr. ‘D’ that we rejected for the job?!?

    man cud’dear – at least let we warn he, advise he, threaten he bout what and what we will do if he mess up like Mr. ‘B’… but how you beating a child because he “look like he may be troublesome?”

    I feel Jerome got a point…

    ********************

    BFP Replies…

    Our point is that the company has no rules, so it doesn’t matter which manager is hired – he or she will soon be tempted like any human being. The new manager being considered for the post has had the opportunity to declare what rules they will use to manage the company, but he or she has refused to declare the rules, saying “trust me”.

    After a succession of failed and crooked managers and sub-managers, many stockholders are saying that something must change. We must have rules that govern the managing of our company. Without those rules, how can even the most honest person not be tempted? Especially knowing that if they or the friends they hire get “caught” no rules are being broken so there can be no penalty!

    BESIDES… the person we are considering hiring for the manager’s position already announced to all his friends that as soon as he gets the job all his friends will share in the “fatted calf” of the company.

    Nope… won’t get fooled again.

  12. Wishing in Vain

    PEP headed by David and Bobby for PM and DPM,
    There you go, we got it all sorted,
    Other choice according to BFP is to maintain the blp and take more of their shafting.
    Then there is the opportunity to give the DLP a fair try and see where it goes but based on the harking of BFP I think that the PEP would be their choice!!

  13. Pingback: Global Voices auf Deutsch » Blog Archive » Barbados, Dominica: Journalist verklagt

  14. Pingback: Global Voices amin’ ny teny malagasy » Blog Archive » Barbada, Dominika : Mpanao gazety notoriana tany amin’ny fitsarana

  15. Anonymous

    Jealousy will get you nowhere!!!!

  16. Pingback: Prime Minister over “Million Dollar Assets, $5,000 Salary” enquiry | Times of Dominica

  17. How long til dis Hindependence lark comes unstuck?

    God how I luv Wess Indyan politrix.
    It is SO full of sh*t, it’s pure comedy!

    Adding to the comedic factor
    is that the Wess Indyan electorate actually takes the whole thing seriously.
    Guys, it’s all PappyShow, eh? LOL

  18. Just would like to know

    Mr. Jerome Hinds, what about the check the late Prime Minister collected, before the rightful owner was able to collect . When he went for it was told it was collected already by the above person. My point take the plank from your own eye, before looking to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

  19. WANDERER

    It is amazing we were told by the highest of the high that an insurance company was safe. When every other country was putting this company under scrutiny we refused and said the company was safe.

    Now we learn that clients cannot get their money out when some principals were able to allegedly get theirs out. Month after Month we see flouting of the laws and making of decisions and efforts to go back and change the laws to suit decisions.

    Now do you really expect integrity legislation? Does it really matter who leads or will the same thing happen if the alternative selection is in power. It seems to me to some love of the dollar is driving the greed. The masses of people are suffering , quarreling and bickering and take sides.

    Dont you see that a certain races and few in the main race does not care who is in power? But whoever is in power they make sure they thrive. So word to the wise the politicians don’t have the power you do. Stop running behind them and waiting for crumbs to fall. Make your own bread.

  20. The man wiv no name!!

    Could it be the DLP or any other political party in Bim simply doesn’t possess the necessary legal and other expertise to publish Integrity and Accountability legislation?

    Also, is this the same David Thompson who wunna wus lamenting d loss of suh much d udda day i taught wunna wus gun ded!! There’s a name for that which begins with h n ends in y. guess wha it is!! 🙂

  21. The man wiv no name!!

    Hopefully, if it has any sense, the Dominican court will throw out the case and call for a parliamentary enquiry or some such vehicle to get to the bottom of it. Little tw*ts like him think we’re still in the era of Pappa Doc!

  22. They get rich from stealing from poor hard working people and old men and women who are unable to fight them for their rights, but the bastards day will come. eswwwwwwww