Although Prime Minister Perry Christie and Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis have seemingly turned a blind eye to Leslie Miller's family-owned business paying $100,000 in cash on an outstanding Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) bill revealed exclusively by The Nassau Guardian on June 17, we can now reveal that the management of BEC has contacted the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) on this important matter.
What we do know is that Miller, BEC's executive chairman, informed us that the payment was made via cashier's check.
That came after The Nassau Guardian reported that Miller
and one of his
family-owned businesses collectively owed the corporation nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
How can the prime minister keep Leslie Miller
on as chairman when Miller
has shown a total disregard for the corporation's policy regarding bill payment?
If the answer is that Miller
was unaware of that policy, this is also justification for Christie
to fire him as executive chairman.
Matters like the one involving Leslie Miller
are chipping away at this administration's credibility.
Christie's failure to deal with Leslie Miller feeds the perception that he is a weak leader.
should be reminded that one of the key findings of researchers hired by the PLP
leadership after the 2007 election defeat was that the "weak leader" image played a key role in the party's loss.
It is certainly his
prerogative to keep Leslie Miller
as executive chairman of BEC
But why he
does it in the face of all that has been revealed is baffling.
The fact that $100,000 was paid on the more than $200,000 bill is important for BEC
, which, according to Miller
, has $130 million in accounts receivable.
But more importantly than that is "how" this bill was paid.
While we feel he
did not go far enough in recent statements he
made in Parliament on this matter, Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis was on to something when he
What stands out is that Miller
, in his
response in Parliament, avoided responding to questions on "how" the bill was paid.
appealed to the public's sensibilities, saying that like other businesses, his
family's operations fell on tough times.
did not tell Parliament whether the $100,000 was cash collected by Mario's in legitimate business dealings, or whether it came from another source.
Minnis did not press the issue, which he
raised four minutes before the end of his
We submit that he
ought to have called for Miller's resignation.
The reason we have chosen to again raise the issue of Miller
and the $100,000 is that we believe sincerely that our regulatory arrangements have to mean something.