OPPOSITION Leader Michael Pintard and former Water and Sewerage executive chairman Adrian Gibson.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Michael Pintard has accused the Davis administration of targeting former Water and Sewerage executive chairman Adrian Gibson, after several rental vehicles belonging to Mr Gibson were allegedly seized on Long Island as part of a police investigation.
When contacted yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Leamond Deleveaux confirmed that officers were in Long Island conducting investigations concerning WSC.
However, he would not confirm whether police had taken several of Mr Gibson’s rental vehicles into custody. Further, he would not say whether the Long Island MP was being investigated.
But sources familiar with the matter told The Tribune yesterday that some of Mr Gibson’s vehicles were seized by police last week.
This newspaper also understands that Mr Gibson is currently out of the country and is scheduled to return this week, after which he will speak more to the issue.
Meanwhile, during a press conference held following the Free National Movement’s conclave on Saturday, Mr Pintard told reporters that the FNM was still waiting to be appraised of all the facts.
He said it was apparent to the party that Mr Gibson was being targeted, adding that officials were hoping that whatever allegations being made against the Long Island MP would be found false.
He said “As you are fully aware, the present Progressive Liberal Party has targeted Mr Gibson. We do not know all of the facts in this matter, but they are going out of their way to drip feed the public with a fair amount of information suggesting a conclusion that has not been arrived at yet. So, we are waiting to hear the full set of accusations being made by the Progressive Liberal Party and Mr Gibson is a young talented Bahamian and we’re praying that anything that they’re asserting is absolutely false, but we are going to hear all of the facts. He’s a member of our family that we care about dearly and so we’ll wait and see.”
Mr Pintard was also asked how the FNM felt about Mr Gibson being allegedly investigated by police.
However, the opposition leader only said the party felt troubled over the fact that many FNM supporters were being unjustly victimised and targeted by the Davis administration.
“Listen, we feel terrible that many FNMs are presently being savaged by the Progressive Liberal Party,” the Marco City MP added. “Urban Renewal workers and members from social services throughout the Ministry of Environment where contracts have been ended.
“In almost every ministry, this government has determined that persons who have been hired or contracted over the last four years will be the focus of their attention both in terms of how they characterise them and in terms to how they end their livelihood. So, when you ask about my feelings, don’t confine it to one person. I ask you to look broadly at the incredible savagery that is being meted out to so many Bahamians who are challenged economically at the moment.”
Earlier this month, The Tribune reported that police questioned WSC General Manager Elwood Donaldson for hours as part of their investigation.
He was placed on leave in December.
The details of those investigations are not clear but an audit into the corporation –– which was leaked last month –– allegedly found red flags in the operations of the institution.
Reportedly, the Internal Compliance Division at the institution allegedly revealed “high-level corrupt transactions” concerning multiple projects. The audit accused a former executive member of conflict of interest and fraud.
The investigation, according to the report, is part of a probe into the issuance of contracts and the management of the corporation under the Minnis administration.
Mr Gibson’s tenure at the corporation was put under spotlight last year after he was accused of awarding no bid contracts to a company that was allegedly owned by people he knew.
However, he has since denied the allegations, saying the false claims were the sad reality of “silly season” and “mudslinging” that have become features of Bahamian politics.