Former CEO accuses former chairman Darnell Osborn of bankruptcy – Eye Witness News

Nassau, Bahamas — Three former Bahamas Power & Light directors claim that the dysfunction that defeated the BPL’s board in 2018 was fueled by trivial dissatisfaction and the ego of then-chairman Darnell Osborn. I am.

The allegations are in a new witness statement by Ferron Bethel, Patrick Rollins and Whitney Hasty filed last week after Osborne, Nick Dean and Nicola Thompson sued the government for tort, tort and injuries. Thing.

In their statement, Bethel, Rollins, and Hasty elaborate on the alleged case and describe Osborne as managing and coveting primary sources for BPL’s work.

Bethel said that Osborne is an “ambitious individual who enjoyed control” and she and Thompson are women who “know each other well” and “there are there to fine-tune the BPL, not to establish it.” I felt that I was there, “he said. policy”.

“I remember after several discussions with Osborne about corporate governance, I showed her taking a course in corporate governance,” he said.

He said Osborne knew that the problem was happening when then-CEOs Heastie and Rollins started complaining about how much they were traveling and no one else had the same opportunity. rice field.

He said the dissonance grew because the two factions were different during Shell’s negotiations.

“I remember starting to feel very uncomfortable because I didn’t want to be drawn into the little politics within the board,” he said.

“The problem escalated when Rollins informed me that he and Hasty attended a dinner at Sima hosted by Shell. Shell also attended Osborne and Thompson. Rollins attended Thompson during dinner. Said he and Hasty quietly blamed the other side of the table. “

When Rollins sat across from Thompson during the meeting in his statement, she looked into his eyes and said, “You and Whitney are corrupt.”

The man said they complained to the banister about the state of the board because this was so disturbing to them.

Bethel said he asked Banister if he could arrange a meeting between Osborne and Rollins to resolve the issue.

He said Rollins and Osborne seemed to have solved their problems at a meeting he arranged, but the harmony was short-lived. When Rollins and Heastie traveled to China, tensions soon reappeared.

“As I remember, Heastie and Rollins attended a meeting in China with Minister Banister, and Osborne was furious that she wasn’t invited,” Bethel said.

“Osborn approached me expressing anger that Rollins and Hasty flew in the” first class “of this trip, and that she wasn’t invited. She knew I had traveled to Hong Kong and Australia / New Zealand on vacation before, so she wanted to know the cost of a first class ticket to China.

“I informed her of the cost of my ticket, and she said she would not approve the cost of the Heastie and Rollins tickets, regardless of the fact that the minister invited them. Suggested to her that this issue was really annoying and she should talk directly to the minister to see why she wasn’t invited and who would pay for the ticket. I don’t know if I spoke to him. “

Rollins said he could “vividly recall” Osborne’s “moody temperament” when discussing a trip to China at a subsequent board meeting, most of the meetings using mobile phones. Added that he rarely participated.

Bethel said tensions had increased between Osborne and Thompson on the one hand and himself on the other.

As chairman of the audit committee, he and Rollins said he was embarrassed by why Osborne and Thompson preferred PwC to give PwC a contract to conduct an external audit of the BPL over KPMG, their choice.

He and Rollins speculated that Osborne and Thompson chose PwC because they had a relationship with the people there.

He said there was a clear tension between the two factions when he and Rollins rejected the bid committee’s recommendations and instead chose KPMG’s cheaper bids.

He said the problem increased when the audit raised concerns about the hiring of media consultant BPL and Osborne’s intention to donate $ 20,000 to the Bahamas Certified Accountants Association (BICA). Bethel, as far as he knows, said no donations were made.

“The problem started to get worse rapidly,” Bethel said. He added that when Dean joined the board, it was clear that he was part of the Osborne faction.

Osborne then dismissed Hesty from the chairman of the Procurement Commission and appointed Dean to that position, he said.

Following this, Bethel said the board “had virtually nothing achieved,” and Osborne refused to sign a memorandum of understanding with Shell.

He said the Osborne faction refused to approve the purchase of a new turbocharger after one of the BPL’s generators broke down. Osborne’s group first wanted a complete forensic investigation, “regardless of the fact that they lost millions of dollars a month because the generator went down,” he said.

Bethel said his last straw was beyond the security minister. Heastie upheld the appointment of Lester Fernander, who was employed by the Grand Bahama Power Company, but Bethel argued that the Osborne faction opposed this choice.

He told Osborne and Dean that hiring lies solely with the CEO’s authority, but they disagree and seek outside legal advice to determine if Heastie can hire a security director. Said.

Bethel then wrote to Rollins to discuss with his wife his intention to resign from the BPL’s board because of dissatisfaction with the board that “has not achieved anything meaningful in the last three months.” Stated.

According to Bethel, Rollins sent an email to Banister, who sent the document to the Prime Minister.

When Bethel met with the Prime Minister, he told him that Osborne’s “tried to control the board and her inflated ego” caused the board to fail.

“After considering what I have to say, the Prime Minister said he intends to dismiss the entire board,” he said.

“At that point, I showed the Prime Minister that I had never been fired for anything in my life. Therefore, I will resign. After the meeting, I contacted Minister Banister and resigned. He informed me that he would summon the board to the next week’s meeting. “

The Rollins Witness Statement largely reflects Bethel’s statement. At some point, Osborne and Thompson allegedly visited the board of directors seeking to raise Osborne’s salary to $ 300,000 a year, in his explanation. Former CEO accuses former chairman Darnell Osborn of bankruptcy – Eye Witness News

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