Attorney General denies business interest conflict over Sandals

Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.

Former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson.


Tribune Chief Reporter


ATTORNEY General Allyson Maynard-Gibson yesterday dismissed rumours that her family has a business interest in the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort.

The false reports circulated over the weekend as discontent continues to swell over her decision to issue a nolle prosequi to stop a private prosecution against the hotel and two of its senior executives.

“My family has no shop space nor any business interest at Sandals,” she said, responding to questions from The Tribune.

In April, Columbian Emeralds International opened a new store at Sandals LaSource Resort in Grenada.

Mrs Maynard-Gibson’s husband, Maxwell Gibson, is the franchisee for Columbian Emeralds International’s locations in Nassau and Freeport.

The attorney general told The Tribune that her husband had shop space at Sandals Royal Bahamian in the past, but could not recall the time period. She insisted there were no present ties to the resort.

The nolle order halted the action launched against the resort, its general manager, Gary Williams, and financial controller, Fitzroy Walker, by five officers of the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU) who had alleged that Sandals Royal Bahamian was in breach of the Industrial Relations Act by failing/refusing to “treat or enter into negotiations” with the union.

They had also claimed that the resort, Mr Williams and Mr Walker, had violated the Industrial Tribunal Relations Act by intimidating and terminating employees. The resort, and its executives, had denied all allegations.

Much of the public outcry over the nolle has hinged on the fact that it was signed on August 15, the same day the hotel terminated more than 600 employees.

However, in response to the pushback, the Office of the Attorney General released a statement Thursday night clarifying that the order did not come into effect until it was entered in the Magistrate’s Court on September 19.

In her statement, Mrs Maynard-Gibson made it clear that she would not be swayed “by the political objectives of her colleagues or anyone else” in the execution of her constitutional duty.

She went on to explain that civil proceedings were underway in the Supreme Court between BHMAWU and the resort.

“Civil proceedings are continuing in the Supreme Court between the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union and Sandals in relation to the continued existence of the union and whether Sandals should be obliged, in the circumstances, to negotiate with the union,” the statement said.

“Another action is before the Supreme Court on the matter of whether the Sandals employees were unfairly dismissed. The union, not the state, also commenced in the Magistrate’s Court, a private prosecution against some of Sandals’ managers.”

It continued: “Persons are being held accountable through the legal process in the Supreme Court, where appropriate sanctions are available.

“One of the objectives being pursued by the government in meetings with Mr Obie Ferguson and other trade unionists was the attempt to encourage Sandals to negotiate an industrial agreement notwithstanding the Supreme Court action.

“The entering of the said nolle prosequi does not prevent nor does it compromise further meetings and continued efforts of the minister of labour, or anyone else in the government, in relation to this goal and a successful outcome,” her statement added.

Since the order was made public last week, the attorney general has come under fire from the labour movement and the Official Opposition - both groups have called for her immediate resignation - as well as her Cabinet colleagues.

Last week in an article published in The Nassau Guardian, Labour Minister Shane Gibson said he was disappointed that Mrs Maynard-Gibson did not notify him of the decision as he and other government officials were actively working to resolve issues between the resort and the union.

His stance was supported by Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis, and Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe, with both senior ministers stating that the move sent the “wrong message”.

Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts has stated that the political organisation backs her decision.


jus2cents 7 years, 6 months ago

Yep, a nation traumatized by child abuse and the mental chains of slavery...Bahamians confuse abuse with love. Think 'someone else' (Massa, Government etc) will fix all the woes in life. Don't seem to know THEY are the ones with the true POWER.


ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

"The attorney general told The Tribune that her husband had shop space at Sandals Royal Bahamian in the past, but could not recall the time period. She insisted there were no present ties to the resort."

Does "no present ties" mean since sandals closed? Why do we always have to ask tricky questions to get the full truth? Will there be ties after sandals reopened in November/December?


TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

Comrades! To the credit of the Attorney General, it's my understanding that she is one of the Public Officials who as called for by law, did in fact file her Financial Disclosure Statements for the 2015 financial year, and each every preceding year required to have filed. Would it not have been a requirement under the Financial Disclosure Act that for the benefit of the pubic to also know the financial obligations of the Public Official's Spouse? This disclosure also applies to the filing Public Official's Legal Dependents, including any and all loans or other financial obligations co-signed by the filing Public Official.


Theobserver1 7 years, 6 months ago

No one knows their future. I don;t believe anyone here can tell me what will happen to them in 5 years. The AG's husband is no fortune teller either. So why do we always think that because someone did something in the past it must forever define who they are in the future. If anyone here is offered a job today will you turn it down on the grounds that it MIGHT be a conflict of interest to something you MIGHT do ten years in the future? Th key here is disclosure and as TalRussell pointed out, the lady has filed her appropriate statements.


ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Anyone can own anything, the issue is they never seem willing to recuse themself when conflicts arise. At minimum the AG should have removed herself from the Bahamar negotiations,, she should not have been flying to China as a lead in anything. The fact that she didn't remove herself makes people question her objectivity with every action she takes.


sheeprunner12 7 years, 6 months ago

Does she deny business interest at Bahamar as well??????? .......... SMDH


jus2cents 7 years, 6 months ago

And it would be nice of her to Share more, like what really went on in all those Baha Mar and China meetings? Do they even do 'minutes of the meetings' cost of flights, hotels, limos, expense account info?

If she has any offshore accounts in other jurisdictions? A lot of people talking about this in other nations #BahamasLeaks http://www.transparencyinternational....">http://www.transparencyinternational....

How much her family actually invested in Baha Mar 'if anything' ?

Finder's / introduction fee agreements? Always wondered if that's the Nations money or the individual that works for the Nation?

A lot of unanswered questions.


lionfish 7 years, 6 months ago

"In April, Columbian Emeralds International opened a new store at Sandals LaSource Resort in Grenada." This IS a conflict of interest!!! Different Sandals in different places are still owned by the same corporation. What kind of game is she playing?


MonkeeDoo 7 years, 6 months ago

lionfish: Yes you got it on the head. This is not like coca cola or a MacDonald's franchise. Sandals anywhere is Sandals here. There is only one Sandals. Are we that stupid ?


TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

I was pleased to read a post on a different resort posted today by Comrade SheepRunner2, who wisely pointed out that today's resorts as we know them have become the modern day tourism plantation. Maybe Comrade Sheeprunner2, may be wiser than I've given credit for, but I believe it's even worse than they thinks it is.


Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 6 months ago

This corrupt Wicked Witch (Maynard-Gibson) is completely and utterly incompetent when it comes to just about anything except thinking of her own selfish interests and putting ill-gotten gains in her bank account!


Reality_Check 7 years, 6 months ago

You're so right....she is one nut-head that proves nuts like her never fall far from the tree....and we all know which corrupt tree she fell from....the one whose name has the initials CTM, deceased (praise and thanks to Lucifer!).


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