I’ve taken note of the disgusting race baiting tirade by Camille Robinson Regis at the PNM’s La Horquetta meeting which was flimsily masked as a defence of Foster Cummings.
This only shows how desperate the PNM are to deflect from all the allegations surrounding their party jefe, the General Secretary, which are coming to light from various sources.
Instead of addressing the needs of the constituents and serious issues affecting the country, Camille went there in an attempt to sully my good name.
Camille proclaims to know so much about my house, but town says she did not know much about what was going on in her own house when she left it under the care of hired help.
I would advise her to mind her business and if she can’t, then at least try to speak the truth, although I understand that PNM membership and honesty are diametrically opposed concepts.
She purported to read some information that she no doubt got from the HDC by using her Ministerial position to get into my personal files, and made a feeble attempt to draw some analogy to the transactions involving Foster Cummings’ wife and an associate.
Let me set out the facts about my home:
1. In 2014 when I acquired that property, I owned no other property, was not a member of parliament and not a party official. In fact, I was not even a member of the UNC at the time. I was employed as a Senior Legal Officer in a Ministry. I worked for 9 years in the public sector as an attorney before entering private practice.
2. This is quite different from the situation where the Cummings’ family ended up owing an HDC property allocated to someone who says Mrs Cummings “is like a mother to her” and who was made a director in one of their companies just before acquiring that property in Couva, and ceased to be a director just after disposing of it to the Minister’s wife, who together with her husband already owned other properties including HDC properties.
3. The cost of my property was not in the range stated by Camille, it was in fact $774,000. The down payment was financed from personal savings and a mortgage facility obtained from TTMF for $682,000.
4. My downpayment was made via cheque from an account I had for over a decade, not by showing up with $143,000 cash in a brown bag and lying about the source. My accounts are still there and can be checked as I never sought to close any bank account to avoid source of funds requirements.
5. I took other loans to do modifications to the home, all with the approval of the HDC. This included constructing a wall around the property, safety measures like an electronic gate and camera system and I made many internal aesthetic modifications which increased its value.
6. I did not abuse any government credit card to finance these undertakings, and thankfully I never needed to buy weaves and wigs by dipping into public funds either.
7. When I applied to the HDC for permission to dispose in 2020, I set out all the details of why I wanted to sell, which were personal in nature and had to do with a change in my family situation. I wrote a very open and detailed letter to Mr. Brent Lyons asking for permission to sell. No doubt Camille would have seen this on my file, but true to form and not deviating from her reputation as the PNM premier mudslinger against women, she made no mention of it.
8. An independent valuation valued the land and house at $1,250,000. I had an offer for $1,200,000 which I disclosed to HDC. The approval was granted by the HDC.
9. Camille is a boldface and blatant liar to suggest that the house was paid off by the time I sold, as the records of the HDC would show that I asked for permission to sell so the mortgage could be paid off. At the time, the pay off balance was $554,000. Part proceeds of the sale went directly to TTMF to pay off the mortgage.
10. The insinuation that I never lived in the property is also a completely false narrative. I resided there and still to date, have relationships with many of the neighbours. In fact, one of her close Cabinet colleagues is a frequent visitor to Oasis Greens in Endeavour, to the home of a young lady, so he can speak to some of the neighbours and confirm that they know me, because they all know him, as his vehicle is parked there very late at night and sometimes well into the morning, in full view of the neighbours who send me pictures and videos.
11. I, of course, never shared these, as I am concerned with transparency in the conduct of public affairs, nepotism and abuse of public office for financial gain, not people’s personal after-hours activities.
12. For this reason, I raised the issue of whether the allocation of a lot of land in Couva to a close business associate of a high ranking PNM official and Senator, the approval of the sale to the said PNM official now Minister’s wife at $100,000 when the valuation was over $600,000 and the construction of a large three story steel structure which looks commercial in nature as being cause for concern.
13. Camille can go digging as far back as she wants, she will find nothing to impugn my character. Every half cent earned by me was done so by dint of hard work and diligence. My parents assisted me financially in my early career as the money they saved for my education was not spent since I earned a national scholarship (not a secret PNM slush fund scholarship, an actual one based on 4 distinctions in Cambridge GCE). This was also EARNED under the Manning PNM government, in case Camille thinks this was also some kind of nepotism.
14. You see, people of limited integrity who have thrived on political patronage, cronyism and nepotism assume that anyone who is successful is just like them.
15. They are surrounded only by people who thrive despite their limited intellect and ambition, because someone bent the rules for them or allowed them to abuse the system.
Camille – not everyone is like you or your colleagues. Some of us still value our good name and integrity and aren’t walking around with question marks over our heads.