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Christie & Davis: $46k Water Debt

PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis and former Prime Minister Perry Christie.

PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis and former Prime Minister Perry Christie.

EXCLUSIVE

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Prime Minister Perry Christie tops a “confidential list” at the Water and Sewerage Corporation which allowed politicians and elites to accumulate arrears and not be disconnected, with one of two accounts in his name owing more than $20,000 as of July 2014.

The list also shows law firm Davis & Co, headed by Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis, owed $22,603.33 – the second largest amount – as of March 31 of this year when a payment of $5,000 was made.

Mr Davis had a substantially lower bill at his Westridge residence, owing $2,334.21 as of April 5.

The confidential document obtained by The Tribune lists dozens of politicians and other well-connected people, however not everyone has an exorbitant bill. Some on the list have zero balances, owe less than $500 or are even owed money by WSC.

The document, dated June 13, shows that a payment of $57 was made on July 25, 2014 on a West Bay Street account in Mr Christie’s name, leaving a balance of $23,432.51. It is unclear if other payments were made on the account after that. Another West Bay Street account in the former Centreville MP’s name, which he shared with his wife Bernadette, had a balance of $514.55 as of May 1.

Several PLP politicians populate the list. The Tribune can reveal former Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V Alfred Gray had a balance for a residence at Culbert’s Hill of $7,051.43 as of June 7, after making a payment of $100.

Dr Perry Gomez, former minister of health, owed $7,529.64 after a $2,000 payment on July 1, 2015.

South Andros MP Picewell Forbes owed $3,270.51 after making a $500 payment in February. Former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe owed the corporation $3,156.22 after making a $1,000 payment on March 20.

Former Labour and National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson owed $1,046.50 after making a payment in December 2015 while former National Security Minister in the first Christie administration Cynthia “Mother” Pratt owed just over $1,800 as of April. Another account in her name owed less than $200 as of May.

Members of the Free National Movement are also on the list, however on average they did not have high balances.

For instance, former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson owed nearly $900 as of April 18. Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham is also on the list, with a balance of $576.63 in April for an address in Cooper’s Town, Abaco.

Former Minister of Works Neko Grant had a negative balance of $46.60 as of April, suggesting he was owed money by WSC. Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette did not owe any money, and Attorney General Carl Bethel owed less than $200, among others.

The list is populated by several former government officials as well.

Former Central Bank Governor Julian Francis owed $3,765.79 in June 2016 while former Urban Renewal Co-Chair Algernon Allen had a balance of $3,586.56 in April 10, 2014 after making a payment of just over $200.

Several companies are also listed.

An entity called June One Ltd owed $3,975.96 after making a payment of $1,000 on March 8.

Laverne Holdings Ltd had a balance of $2,290.44 as of October 3, 2013.

The Fort Charlotte Community Centre on Boyd Road owed $8,967.44 after making a payment in November 2013.

Meanwhile, the American embassy appears on the list several times with multiple accounts, most of which had zero balances or were owed money by WSC. However, one US Embassy account owed more than $1,400 as of April.

The headquarters of both major political parties are also on the list however neither entity had an overdue balance.

Last week, WSC Corporation Chairman Adrian Gibson confirmed the existence of a special list populated by scores of elites at the government owned utility provider as he pledged to initiate a crackdown on delinquent accounts.

At the time, Mr Gibson told The Tribune the “confidential list” held 221 accounts, with a combined total of $175,000 for the period ending June 2017.

The Tribune understands WSC has written to persons holding these delinquent accounts giving them 14 days to pay their debts or arrange a suitable payment plan or face disconnection.

This revelation comes after The Tribune reported last week about a similar list at Bahamas Power and Light. Persons in this category owed the cash-strapped electricity provider thousands of dollars, with many owing more than $10,000.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has ordered officials to end the list and stop giving special treatment.

In the aftermath of the report, some people claimed they never asked to be on BPL’s special list. Former BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller, who was on BPL’s list owing thousands, said a similar policy was also in place at BTC and all government corporations.

Comments

John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

One time ago your parents use to tell you, "Don't worry about what other people have because you ain't know what they did to get it." Well in this day and time, when it is so difficult to keep your head above water and take care yourself and your family you have to be concerned about what other people have and how they got it. The more slackness that goes on in a government, the more expensive is the cost of living for those citizens who have to pay bills. And what is more bothersome is when people who can afford to pay do not bills they want you to pay. It also follows that they make laws they don't intend to abide by.

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happyfly 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Perry's selfish greed is second to none in the history of the Bahamas

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BahamasForBahamians 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This paper is doing a good job at keeping the PLP relevant.

That is a candid shot of the next PM and Ex-PM Christie.

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Emac 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Stop shooting the messenger and direct your attention to these two ungodly men who failed to live up to their expectations, by setting a good example. Please remove the scale from your eyes and see the facts. This has nothing to do with red or yellow, but everything to do with honesty, integrity and love for one's country!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Whether they asked to be on the list or not is completely irrelevant. The only thing of relevance is their grave misconduct in knowingly taking advantage of this list and no doubt other similar lists kept by various government departments, agencies and corporations. Of course crooked Christie and equally crooked Davis will try tell us that they were much too busy governing our country (i.e. stealing from us wherever and whenever they could) to realize they had run up water bills in excess of $20,000. I can just hear each of them lamely saying: "I trusted for others to promptly pay my personal bills and the bills of businesses connected with me while I was busy doing the people's business; therefore, I was completely unaware that my bills had not been paid when they fell due for payment."

It is now beyond a shadow of doubt that both Christie and Davis are dishonourable to their very core and inclined to engage in criminal activities for their own unjust financial self-gain. The preponderance of evidence gathered to date shows that these two greedy ego-centric dolts repeatedly abused their public office and the public trust while serving in the last government as PM and DPM, respectively.

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Reality_Check 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Minnis promised during his election campaign that necessary investigations would be undertaken given all of the incriminating information already in the public domain and that his government would let all of the chips fall where they may. We the people have every intention of holding Minnis to this promise for the sake of the future of our country. The culture of corruption within our governments and the civil service work force must end or we will be the next failed state!

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 months, 2 weeks ago

IfI de water disconnect in dese people's house then the washing machine would not work and no more illegally gotten money could be laundered if indeed they ever did obtain any monies illegally

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Reality_Check 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You sound like someone who would give the devil benefit of doubt. Both Christie and Davis are about as corrupt as politicians come; perhaps in a league entirely of their own!

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DDK 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't forget Ping & Ting.

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Perry really is a criminal. I really would love to see that traitor locked up. What a peice of garbage. So he basically hasn't paid for water since Independence? How long does it take to run up 20 grand in water? What a scumbag...

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DDK 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Mussie tought all da washin would make e clean!

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ohdrap4 2 months, 2 weeks ago

water bill can be more expensive than light bill.

they cahrge different rates for different neighbourhoods.

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Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I live in the area at if my bill is more than $35 a month that's A LOT! 2 kids, pool, well maintained yard. Perry must fill his pool twice a year to run up that sort of bill.

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B_I_D___ 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Shameful...I'm a decent consumer of water, over the span of a year, probably around $2,000...that would take me 23 YEARS to amass that debt. But willing to bet that if I did not pay my $500 for this quarter, the meter man coming knocking on my door to disconnect!!

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrades! Due the almost daily number names being added to the done long list "Long Passed Due Accounts," the prime minister might want to consider offering the many current and former politicians and politically privileged - some kinds "Bill Payments Amnesty?"

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Honestman 2 months, 2 weeks ago

What kind of warped thinking is that?

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Emac 2 months, 2 weeks ago

10 points for every time Tal can make a point without mentioning the word "red"

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You wont be giving out any points Emac

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This is why every government public entity is in the RED ....... politicians and their friends, families and lovers do not pay bills, fees and loans to government agencies ....... smt

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

These two fuckshots really oversaw a criminal empire. How else can you explain this bullshit. These guys made sure their grand children won't have to work for a living with the amount of loot they took over the past 5 years.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade former prime minister Christie, please explain the reasoning behind your payment of $57 that was made on July 25, 2014 on a West Bay Street water account in your name, leaving a balance of $23,432.51? I'd like see a copy of the letter or past due bill that the PM responded to with his $57 payment? { You couldn't have made the $57 payment up }.

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Tal I really fell on the floor laughing "$57.00" on A $23,000.00 plus bill

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Gotoutintime 2 months, 2 weeks ago

At that rate it would take him 33 years to pay off his bill--If he didn't use anymore water.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Gotoutintime, you're giving the former PM to much waters bill paying credit. The PM didn't pay for he waters used $57 monthly, but more likes ONCE ever three decades?
I would still love hear from the former PM, his explanation - how he arrived at paying that $57???

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Gotoutintime 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Tal---I stand corrected---Maybe there was suppose to be some zeroes after the 57?---Maybe when Mr. Christie writes his memoirs we will be enlightened!!

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Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

That money was probably supposed to go on his boy-toy's account not on his personal account.

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DonAnthony 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The former and current leader of the PLP are pathetic. It is no wonder we are in the moral and economic mess we find ourselves, have these people no shame. The PLP needs completely new blood, brave Davis is no break from the corrupt legacy of this once honorable party.

It appears Mr. Christie is a voracious consumer of water, or has never paid a water and sewerage bill in his life. My bill from water and sewerage is $30 per quarter or $120 per year, so at this rate Christie has 166 years worth of unpaid bills, unbelievable.

The financial disclosure law to run for office should be amended to include public corporation bills, if any bill is more than $500 you can not run.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade DonAnothony, if the PM's little house and grounds unpaid water bill is so high, you can imagine the size the unpaid water bill to water all those acres and acres grass and plants at the Governor General's residence atop Mount Fitzwilliam..... And, you knows with all certainty that if they hasn't paid the light bills in years at the governor general's residence. that they water is due for immediate shutoff? { I'm working on my Book, "You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up" }.

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BahamasForBahamians 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Do we confirm these allegations by the media before accepting it?

The tribune appears to be gearing up for a lawsuit on this article as Davis has since denied owing the said corporation any money.

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

No lawsuit here. He may be right he doesn't owe any money but the report is quite clear that it was at that amount as of March 31st 2017 DUH

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licks2 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So did Wells, Gomez. . .and by the Fitzgerald too. . .and as usual Davis "een know nuttin" about he bills!! Chile please. Just think now. . .Gomez say that "I een know I have dat bill at BEC". Now who in this world "een know" they have a bill with power company each month. . .yet run gone pay down this one shown in the papers? Ya mean heen pay light bill in so long that he "een member" he have to pay for light? He "mussie tink alla we is PLP dem aye"? Lol!

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themessenger 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Its not rocket science, if Davis has paid the bill as he claims, he needs only to produce the receipt. Don't tell me, show me!

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mangogirl01 2 months, 2 weeks ago

All of these damn politicians get fat off us the hardworking, suffering taxpayers! Look at them, no damn necks, just fat!

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ohdrap4 2 months, 2 weeks ago

well done tribune.

When is the property tax list coming out?

Are you going to beat The Punch to the punch?

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 2 weeks ago

BOL .......... We need that Real Property "No Pay" List next !!!!!!!!!! This is almost too hilarious ........ if it was not so frigging painful to bear.

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B_I_D___ 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Real property tax...that would be EPIC!!

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pileit 2 months, 2 weeks ago

My RPP was DOUBLED under this previous PLP administration, with not so much as a breakdown in zoning, rates, or policy. I assume it was their typical 'rape the tax paying middle class to extinction and gee the poor voting base a break' policy.I initiated the protest procedure, replete with current appraisals in February of this year, have yet to hear anything from them, probably still out to lunch.

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licks2 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I want every bills in the "tiefing books" to come out. . .all of them. . .PLP, FNM and DNA! INCLUDE ALL OF THEM OTHER PARTIES TRYING TO RUN OUR COUNTRY. . .expose everybody. . .then let we the people decide do them in at the polls!

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 2 weeks ago

After the FNM Government has exposed all of their list of who have paid their bill and who have not paid their bills. Perhaps they will tell you folks HOW MANY INDOOR TOLIETS . have they installed in the inner cities.?? ; The Former Deacon Jeff has told you folks to grow up and understand. this may be the only time I may agree with him.

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pileit 2 months, 2 weeks ago

When will you stop being such an arse? Do you or do you not take issue with Christie carrying a debt of $23,432.51, while the Bahamians he 'served' are disconnected for $200? Which is it? don't veer off course!

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realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

birdie are you on that list? or are you just a bottom feeder in the plp tank and not entitled to the spoils. I hope you were on the list because you have been such a good foot soldier and ass kisser

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ohdrap4 2 months, 2 weeks ago

how many indoor toilets did christie install in Centreville in 40 years?

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrades! The most disturbing of all lists would be for the cabinet to order the release of the complete list of business that have not fully paid their employees payroll deductions of National Insurance Board (NIB) contributions. This list of NIB defaulters, knows no borders when it comes to colours of the political parties t-shirts they wears. I'd say that one party's business owners, would comprise the majority of defaulters on the dreaded list.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Yep Tal ...... That list must be released as well ............ Release the NIB Contributions "No Pay List" ......... Name and shame every politician and their cronies (on both sides)

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ohdrap4 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Both BPL and W&S should release the real corruption lists.

VIPS who had their meters removed and cannot even be issued bills, ie, VIPS illegally connected to utilities.

I am sure whistleblowers in both corporations would assist in compiling the list if offered protection.

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John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

They need to do a listing of ZNS accounts. There are persons who have accounts at ZNS with balances in the thousands. These persons and companies may not even be aware that these accounts exist dating all the way back to 1992 (when FNM came to power). Apparently when ZNS was about to be audited back then, large amounts of unpaid balances were transferred to dummy accounts and to inactive accounts to hide who (PLP businesses, party and supporters cronies) actually owed money to the corporation. While some people and companies were able to get these accounts corrected, those who were unaware of what was happening still have these amounts showing against them.

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