By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
ROYAL Bahamas Police Force Commissioner Paul Rolle was adamant that police have no authority to “dig into nobody’s business” unless there is a complaint in response to questions of whether an investigation would be launched into allegations at a government agency.
He was asked yesterday to explain whether the RBPF would investigate allegations surrounding the issuance of contracts at the Water & Sewerage Corporation under the tenure of former executive chairman Adrian Gibson.
“I don’t know,” he said during a virtual press conference. “You are asking the wrong person. What I am saying is that the police only investigate matters that are reported to us. We don’t have any authority to go and dig into nobody’s business unless there is a complaint.
“What I would suggest is I could refer you to the Prevention of Bribery Act and if you look at that the Act tells you how complaints are initiated and then that would help you.”
Earlier during the press conference, the commissioner told a reporter: “That’s not a matter for me. You’ve got to take that question elsewhere.”
Mr Gibson, the Long Island MP, came under fire in late August after it was revealed in leaked documents that a company, Elite Maintenance, was awarded contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by WSC. The director of the company has the same name as a person identified as Mr Gibson’s fiancee in a leaked police report.
On Monday, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said there is enough information in the public domain to “warrant an investigation” into contracts issued at WSC.
When asked if the AG or police commissioner have investigated WSC contracts to date, Mr Davis told reporters: “I know that is being looked at. I don’t know where it is because I don’t want to interfere. The information is in the public domain. We’ll expect those who have responsibility to do their work, to do their work. Where it is, I do not know. All I know is that sufficient information was out there in the public domain to warrant an investigation.”
Mr Davis said he is “not going to say” anything more about the issue, because those “who know what they have to do, ought to just” do it.
The commissioner was also asked whether the RBPF had at any time looked into allegations against former Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald.
At the tail end of the last Christie administration, Mr Fitzgerald confirmed that he sought contracts from Baha Mar for his family’s business after The Tribune exclusively revealed that he requested brokerage, trucking and limousine contracts worth millions. Critics claim that he breached the Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure, which states that a minister must not solicit or accept any benefits advantage or promise of future advantage whether for himself, his immediate family or any business concern or trust with which he is associated from persons who are in, or seek to be in, any contractual or special relationship with the government.
Shortly before the 2017 general election, The Tribune published emails showing that Mr Fitzgerald advocated on behalf of Bahamas Cargo & Logistics, a company he said was formed by his father years ago.
The issue was again brought into the spotlight after it was confirmed that Mr Fitzgerald is the new senior policy advisor and head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.
In response, Commissioner Rolle said: “There were a lot of talks. As I said I cannot comment on matters that were in the media regarding that. I’m saying if you can tell me who made a complaint — I am not aware that there was any formal complaint made. There was a lot of information circulating in the media and I think we need to be fair, be honest when we speak. A lot of people were saying stuff, but nobody came forward.”