Daily Archives: February 19, 2010

Shameful but Legal: Corruption by Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit Director Leo Brewster

UPDATED October 22, 2011 

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Populace learns another lesson about the Protected Class…

You have to love this country, folks. Dr Leo Brewster gets a job running a government agency, the CZMU. As part of the job, he hands out millions of dollars of contracts to others. Then he and a fellow government employee start a company and Brewster awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in ‘work’ to his own company. Not satisfied with this, he has the government purchase equipment for his company to use. The equipment cannot be found in government inventory.

Nothing like having the government equip your business – keeps those start-up costs down. Slick!

This goes on for almost four years during which time Brewster’s company also collects VAT and fails to remit the tax to government. Yup, they collected the tax from the government agency and failed to remit back to government. So it wasn’t just a loss of collected tax revenues, it was an actual theft OF government funds.

That’s really slick!

Here we are a year and a half later and just like we predicted at the time, it all faded away. Dr. Brewster is still Director at CMZU. Nothing changed.

Perhaps there was something in the news that we missed – perhaps not – but does it really matter?

The lesson is again taught to the populace: Government job = money on the side with no worries. Even if you get caught.

Original story first published February 19, 2010…

Leo Brewster awarded government contracts to own company!

Dr. Leo Brewster shouldn’t get too upset about the current allegations that he directed hundreds of thousands of dollars of government contracts to his own company.

Heck, that’s standard operating procedure in Barbados and it’s not against the law because neither the former BLP government nor the current DLP government want to outlaw this common practice by elected and appointed government officials. They don’t want to kill that golden goose just yet, ya know! (Not until we get closer to the next election. Gotta get that last bit ‘o juice before the game changes.)

If Brewster had been a little wiser he would have put the company in his sister’s name or something like other government officials do, but except for the embarrassment of being caught with his hand in the cookie jar he need not fear any charges. Oh, there might be an issue with the VAT his company collected and didn’t pay, but even that will be excused away as a cashflow problem. Hell, they just forgave $20 million in taxes to the Barbados Turf Club so why should good old Leo be treated differently than the rich pony owners? Continue reading

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

Barbados Bar Association: Some lawyers in prominent public positions are dishonest

The association [ Barbados Bar Association] also said that it hoped Thompson’s remarks about the legal profession not being the best place for any argument concerning “the integrity, the equanimity and the outlook that is consistent with modern Barbadian society and our quest for social justice” was taken out of context.

“Not only are equanimity and the quest for social justice hallmarks of the profession, but the majority of lawyers in Barbados hold to the highest principles of honesty and integrity and many occupy some of the most prominent positions in public life in Barbados employing those same virtues in the service of Barbadians generally,” the association noted.

… from The Nation February 17, 2010 article Angry Bar

So according to the Barbados Bar Association, the majority of lawyers are honest. How big is the minority and what high offices do they hold?

(… the above sent to BFP by a reader)

Barbados Bar Association upset of Prime Minister’s Remarks

In our recent article Barbados Prime Minister slams retiring Chief Justice David Simmons over the ethics of Simmons’ appointment we praised Prime Minister David Thompson for clearly talking about how morally wrong it was for David Simmons to have accepted the position of Chief Justice. The PM said that Simmons’ performance in the job could not make up for the wrong done at the start.

The Prime Minister also gave a slap in the face to the Barbados Bar Association as several of their members were whining about how Simmons was unfaired when the PM didn’t grant him an extension in the position.

Career politician was no independent judge

Those comments by some members of the Bar Association showed that they haven’t a clue about how important it is to the citizens that the court system and the judges themselves have the appearance of independence and impartiality.

Those comments showed that the Bar Association has lost touch with our society and the word INTEGRITY as it should apply to lawyers, judges and the entire justice system.

Here’s what the PM said that the Bar Association is criticising him for…

“Chief Justices are not appointed to help lawyers. Chief Justices are appointed to dispense justice to citizens, so my choice for a Chief Justice is not going to be based on any cacophony of noise from the legal profession. Someone has to be chosen who has the integrity, the equanimity and the outlook that is consistent with modern Barbadian society and our quest for social justice… I am not sure that the legal profession is the best place for that argument,”

… Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson

We firmly support the Prime Minister in his determination that our next Chief Justice should not be a political hack and that the lawyer class will not dictate the candidates.

Our Prime Minister knows that the position of Chief Justice is far too important to leave to the members of an agenda-driven legal profession who never had the courage and the conviction to oppose David Simmons’ original appointment when they had the chance.

Well done, Mr. Prime Minister, and may the Lord guide you and your government as you consider who is the right choice for our next Chief Justice.

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

What is our road tax being spent on? Certainly not de-bushing roads!

These are photographs of the public road between Fisher Pond, St. Thomas and Sugar Hill, St. Joseph. It shows the aftermath of the 5th fire for the year in this area which occurred on February 17th. ( the first occurring on January 1st ) . Check with Arch Hall Fire Station.

Note the ruler at bottom of two of the photographs. This measures three ( 3 ) feet, ten ( 10 ) inches, so just under four feet. It is obvious how far the bush has been ‘allowed ‘ to encroach into the road way. Two cars cannot pass. Many calls have been made to the relevant government departments about this stretch of road. Further along is The Rusher ( mistakenly called Russia ) gulley. Approximately three weeks ago a crew cleared ‘ some ‘ of the bush ONLY at the south entrance. It is still there and now has the wild cane growing up on top of it, making the entrance smaller than it was before the bush was cut. Interesting isn’t it?

What is our Road Tax money being spent on?

. (click for full size)

… submitted by BFP reader. (Name withheld until we receive direct permission to give credit. If you wrote this article, please send us another email that it is OK to use your name.)

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues