By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday said he has “no idea” what Prime Minister Perry Christie was thinking when he appointed Leslie Miller as executive chairman of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation in view of Mr Miller’s reported admission that he owes the corporation nearly a quarter of a million dollars in outstanding electricity bills.
Dr Minnis said it is obvious Mr Miller was not properly vetted, but things would have been “a whole lot” different if he had been prime minister.
His comments came after it was revealed that Mr Miller and one of his family-owned businesses owe the corporation a total of $239,533.33, according to The Nassau Guardian.
The Tribune understands the revelation has prompted BEC officials to launch an official investigation into which employee leaked Mr Miller’s private information.
“I do not know what was in the prime minister’s head when he made his selections for senators and chairmen, etc,” Dr Minnis said. “I can confidently say as prime minister I would properly vet certain individuals. I cannot have individuals there owing a corporation tons of money and subsequently put them in charge, it is not right.
“I don’t know what was in his head and how he came to that conclusion. In my situation, he (Mr Miller) would have not been in such a post. It is hypocritical. You must lead by example. You must show that you are making the necessary provisions to deal with the matter that has to be resolved.
“How do you think the public would respond? I’m not following the law, but I say you must do it, I’m exempt. That is not right. We cannot have two sets of society and two sets of laws. If I were prime minister that circumstance would never arise. I would not even be here discussing that issue today; it would not arise. We would’ve dealt with that before. It would’ve been paid. It would’ve been brought up to date. That would not be a matter today for me to deal with.”
According to published reports, BEC’s records show that a Harrold Road building, registered with BEC under Mr Miller’s name, owes the corporation $46,373.77.
Those records also show that a Harrold Road Bowling alley, owned by Summerwinds Investments Ltd, owes the corporation $193,159.56.
Mr Miller told The Nassau Guardian that the bills were high because of the recession. However, he said, Mario’s Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace, his Harrold Road business pays “something” on their BEC bill every week.
Last week, Mr Miller said BEC is on course to lose $30 million this year. He blamed the employees for the corporation’s current financial problems.