Why now? Why not charge Brewster years ago?
Barbados Today is reporting ‘insiders’ say that six charges are pending against CZMU Director Dr. Leo Brewster, but this is years after Brewster’s corrupt activities came to light. Why charges now? Why not a year or two ago?
The circumstances under which Dr. Leo Brewster was recently placed on leave from his position as Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit are perhaps more complex than one would think.
There is an election on the way and as people on this rock know – a nearby election usually means some public actions designed to show that the government is in control and doing the right thing. Yup, election time is always a busy time ’bout this place. Investigations and charges can fade away later (like Hardwood Housing and so many others – Remember Owen Arthur stealing a political donation cheque? Remember Liz Thompson’s husband?) but it’s important to show some action at election time!
Brewster a BLP Government appointee
You also have to consider that Dr. Brewster was an Owen Arthur BLP government appointee and that the corruption took place under the Barbados Labour Party government. That makes it nice and convenient for the DLP to push for charges.
There is also an ongoing international lawsuit against the government of Barbados brought by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – that might have something to do with CZMU work subcontracted to Brewster’s private company.
If any of our readers can provide an update on that Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary law suit we’d appreciate it.
Back in February of 2010 we first told our readers about the Dr. Brewster’s corruption…
“…Brewster 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…”
Over two and a half years ago we predicted that Brewster would retain his position and that the corruption story and push for integrity legislation would fade from the news and the government’s attention until the next election. We said…
“Not until we get closer to the next election. Gotta get that last bit ‘o juice before the game changes.”
It looks like we called that one correctly.
We also predicted that Brewster would not face charges. So far we’re correct about that, but even if charges are laid we wouldn’t bet on his being convicted… it just isn’t done on the rock.
Can anyone name any Barbados public official who has been even charged for corruption offenses in the last ten years? It just doesn’t happen ’bout hey!
We predict that any charges against Brewster will be dropped eventually.
Like any Bajan government official, Brewster made his little notes along the way, saw this, saw that – wrote it down. Dangerous to have such notes, more dangerous to even mention them – but foolish not to make them in the first place. Just check out what happens when a corrupt police officer is charged with taking bribes. We even knew the exact amount of bribes Sgt. Vaughan received, but his friend the Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, withdrew the bribery charges with no public explanation.
That’s the way things work ‘pon de rock – and that’s the way things will continue to work until we have Freedom of Information and Integrity Legislation… and a culture shift.