Police Could Investigate Possible Illegality By Dean Jonas

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he has asked the Attorney General to look into a recent contract entered into by former Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas to determine whether it was illegal.

The prime minister is detailing for the first time additional reasons behind his decision to fire Jonas days after he gave him a chance to improve.

Earlier Browne indicated that Jonas was underperforming and later that he had a toxic relationship with staff.

Speaking on his radio show on Saturday, the prime minister revealed at he was at constant loggerheads with Jonas to prevent his persistent attempts to breach the country’s tendering laws and policies.

Browne said he took no joy in firing Jonas but said an incident within the last week left him with no choice.

“And the persistence got to the stage in which there was a violation within the last week that I felt we had reached the rubicon and action had to be taken,” the country’s leader said.

“Now I have asked the Attorney General to look at his actions in that particular transaction that took place a week ago, to determine whether there is any illegality and if that is the case the minister would have to suffer the consequences because law enforcement would get involved, and in that case he would not have the opportunity to return to my government,” Browne told Pointe FM.

“If however, there is no illegality, the prime minister said Jonas could return to the Cabinet after six months provided  “an adjustment in his behaviour, to ensure that he adheres to the policies of my government and to give a commitment to that effect.”

Browne did not specify the alleged breach by Jonas but hinted earlier that Jonas did not follow policy guidelines for the awarding of ministry contracts.

He said the attempted breaches by Jonas goes back to several years even when he served as chairman of the Transport Board.

Under policy set down by his government and passed into law, Browne said any contract that is issued within the public sector that exceeds 100 thousand XCD must be approved by the Tenders Board.

“We put a new mechanisms in place where those contracts of 100 thousand had to be approved by the cabinet and then there would be a recommendation to the tenders board.

“I have said to all of my colleagues that those policies should not be violated,” he disclosed.

He said the violation of those policies could lead to corruption in government contracting.

“In the case of former minister Dean Jonas, who I still consider to be my colleague and friend, there were persistent violations.”

“So we would have conflicts as a result of numbers attempts by the (former) minister to violated those polices of the government as agreed to and as established by law.

“So what would have happened for several months, perhaps years for that matter I would have had to intervene on numerous occasions to scuttle contracts that the minister would have negotiated without first getting the approval of the Cabinet and the Tenders Board in order to avoid any form of embarrassment for the government.

“There were consistent warnings, I would have warned him privately, in the presence of his colleagues.”

The prime minister said Jonas never listened.

“And I have to tell you I don’t know if is a level of obstinacy but it was like speaking to a brick wall,” he reported.

“Every time I intervened to stop the excesses the minister took it personally,” Browne added.

“I tried to explain to him that It is not personal, it is a matter of protecting the integrity of the government,” he said.

Browne said on some occasions public servants brought the breaches to his attention and Jonas made attempts to stop that by telling his staff do not report it to the prime minister.

“I have had a plethora of attempted violations by former minister jonas and I would pick up the phone and call him on each occasion to the extend that subsequently when he attempted to violate the policies he would advise the public servants not to inform me.”

“What I did not like were his persistent actions which were clearly against the policies of my government.

“He misconstrued my persistence in preventing him from violating the polices as a personal dislike.” Browne concluded.

We reached out to the former minister for a response, he read our whatsapp messages sent to his two known numbers and did not respond.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. END OF TETHER – END OF TENURE – RISKS – SMOKE AND TEARS

    Given this news story, one would be ‘…naïve or would be harboring illusions’ that the sacking of the ‘…former Agriculture Minister is a temporary measure that allows for redemption.’

    Though harsh in reality, accept that such not only marked the ‘…End of Tether,’ but also the ‘…End of Tenure.’

    One would quicker see a ‘…Pollster kissing; …dancing; and embracing ‘…an Italian, …Barbadian; or a Frenchman,’ than hearing that former Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas, considered for another Cabinet appointment after ‘…six months.’

    Prime Minister Gaston Brown hardly ever made an ‘…Idle Threat.’

    Likened to that which had been attributed to by ‘…Education Minister Michael Browne’ with the ‘…Board of Education (BOE)’ Former Executive Secretary,’ the ‘…former Agriculture’ Minister could suffer the same fate as that he may have caused ‘…former General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board (ABTB).

    Sure this may possibly have been a ‘…scare tactic,’ and while the darn ‘…garling did not speak, it was reported that it said ‘…Trust no shadow.’

    Do know that Sir Rupert Philo, ‘…Mighty Swallow’ sang;

    ‘…Man-to-man is so unjust; …Don’t know who the hell to trust.’

    According to him, ‘…Dey mek LIAT fire me.’

    He survived to ‘..Travel some darn way down San Fernando’ and seemingly barely got away from some kind of fire.

    He didn’t say what kind of fire. Not ‘…Obeah fire’ though.

    Not sure from where people got it that as it affects ‘…Ministers of Government,’ ‘…Revocation of Appointment’ is the same as ‘…Suspension From office.’

    They are really not the same.

    When such an appointment is ‘… Revoked,’ the ‘…Appointee’ is permanently removed from both the ;…appointed position and associated office.’

    This is completely different from an Appointee who has;

    (a) …Mandatorily retired;

    (b) …Resigned (voluntary/forced);

    (c) …Absconded;

    (d) …Died in Service.’

    The reality is, those ‘…ministerially’ considered for ‘…Cabinet appointments,’ shall know that they are given;

    (a) ‘…Privileged positions by the Prime Minister;

    (b) …Recommended by him to the Governor General for such assigned position.’

    They shall know that they may enjoy a tenure that is not only insecure also;

    (i) …In the hands of the Prime Minister; and

    (ii) …Ministers serve at his pleasure.’

    They shall also know that such appointments and tenure are often based upon;

    (a) ‘…Reposed confidence;

    (b) …Trust;

    (c) …Loyalty;

    (d) …Mutual respect;

    (e) …Cooperation;

    (f) …Obedience.’

    Now, being ‘…Elected to Parliament’ and being ‘…Recommended for Appointed to Cabinet,’ are clearly not the same.

    One is by the ‘…Electorate,’ while the other is on the ‘…advice of the Prime Minister to the Governor General.’

    In the case of ‘…former Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas,’ those entertaining or harboring different views, whether of;

    (a) ‘…Mismanagement;

    (b) …Miscalculation;

    (c) …Misdirection;

    (d) …Misinterpretation;

    (e) …Miscomprehension;

    (f) …Misled; or

    (g) …Misguided,’ he may not only have run the risk of ‘…Smoke getting into his eyes,’ but also for ‘…tears to flow from them’ and’… rather imprudent utterances to be spewed from his lips.’

    Thought these body parts were to help people to ‘…see danger and to speak rationally and intelligently.’

    Though not always heeded, it has been said that ‘…A silent tongue keeps a wise head.’

    The lips in particular, used ‘…recklessly or callously or disdainfully’ could cause the ‘…Wrath of Man’ to descend upon the user with telling effect.

  2. Zackie you are so correct and Dean Jonas is not the only one involved in creative enrichment. They all are and are following the directive from their boss. It is just unfortunate that Dean is the one singled out. Anyway, as the saying goes “time longer than rope”. There will be more to come, perhaps even the boss. However, in his case it might come from outside of Antigua and Barbuda.

  3. @ CHARLES TABOR
    How can you make such a STUPID statement. Our Prime Minister is the Minister of Finance and He watched every cent that the Government spent. Charles Tabor you are an opportunist. You wait until you see Someone say something NEGATIVE against this Government then you jumped out like a wild Tiger to add your two cents. You and your Son are bunch of Cowards . Who are more CORRUPT than your UPP Party. That is the reason why your UPP Party would NEVER NEVER get back into office. When you can agree with ZACKIE shows that you are only looking for Company. Shame on You for your UTTERANCES. You Guys turn and twist whatever our Prime Minister says to suit your political agenda. You have many many years to complain. By the way when will the UPP present your Slate for the next Election. Our next Election will be early 2021 not 2023. Hope you will be able to cover all the Constituencies. All UPP does is COMPLAIN. Should change the name to ” THE COMPLAIN PARTY ” SHAME ON YOU.

  4. @Charles Tabor

    Do you have PROOF of any wrong doings with this Administration ? You are really making some very strong statement without PROOF. You are a Lawyer and should know better.

  5. We need another VC Bird. There is something mentally wrong with this world boss guy who is willing to throw anyone under the bus to protect his own self interest. Why is he in almost every business in Antigua, what happens to empowering people. Those type of leaders are the most dangerous.Wow, talking about self enrichment.

    • @Wadad1. another whom? Rethink that one please. Under bus??!! Do I dare to mention folks like Donald Halstead and Tim Hector for starters. Please go back in history before you make such a request . I have had my share of the “birds”

  6. @ZACKEI and WADAD 1

    The Prime Minister has been trying His very to EMPOWER ANTIGUA / BARBUDANS . If You Guys prefer your money in the bank…What can the Prime Minister do ? I have been hearing the Prime Minister always telling Antiguans / Bardudans to purchase lands from the Government for $3 per square ft. This Prime Minister is a forward thinker …Try your best and listen before start complaining. Put your blame in the right place.

  7. I often brag and boast to some friends in neighbouring islands that here in Antigua, we are pretty much mature when it comes to politics compared to many other places. In recent times, I have been made to swallow that because quite recently, our level of reasoning and our continued attract on those with whom we do not agree has sadly risen.
    Everybody is entitled to their opinion and we do not have to agree with someone else’s opinion in order to be civil. In fact, it is the difference of opinions that makes these discourse interesting.

    I have watched how Mr. Pompey, myself and others have been ridiculed simply because someone did not agree with us.

    I am appealing to all the writers to this forum, to let’s keep the level of discourse on this forum civil and respectful even when we disagree with each other. No amount of name calling and disrespect resolves anything and it only shows our shallowness when we can’t disagree without being disrespectful.

    At the end of the day, we are all Antiguans and we are entitled to make our contribution to any matter that concerns our beloved country.

    I hope everyone will take this in the manner in which it is intended and I hope that we will raise the level of our debates and be respectful of all.

    • GOOD OBSERVATIONS AP -FIRE AND BRIMSTONE AWAIT US

      Please let not your heart be troubled ‘AP.’

      Watch how you phrase your lines as well.

      Someone might just think you are ‘…following an Ass.’

      You would note that ‘…Rawlston Pompey’ addresses the issues and has often sought to ‘…rationalize them in a civil way.’

      However, whenever a ‘…Dolt,’ whatever the hell this word means, he is not afraid to respond.

      Such response is primarily done for two reasons;

      (i) …To show them that ‘…Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to wise; and

      (ii) …To show them the wisdom in the popularized ‘…Mighty Bold Face’ saying;

      ‘…When yo’ nah know; …Yo nah know.’

      Not sure where it is going to lead.

      If by chance we get to Heaven, there everyone has to fall in line.

      Not sure if ‘…Rawlston Pompey’ might be in hell. If that is so destined, then some of the ‘…Disagreeables (new word) and …Supper Singers’ will also meet him there.

      Understand now, that ‘…in there or down there,’ wherever, we will fight with ‘…Fire and Brimstone.’

      Sure that ‘Lucifer’ would allow us to ‘…settle our disagreements’ with those two elements -‘…Fire and Sulphur.’

      Take courage that the ‘…majority of visitors to this news portal are very intelligent people.’

      They know contributors whose intelligence appeared to have been seriously affected by;

      (a) …Ignorance;

      (b) …Idiocy; and

      (c) …Stupidity.’

      Because they offer nothing meaningful, there is really no reason to fight with them.

      But then, there is still no reason not to fight their ‘…ignorance; …idiocy and stupidity.’

      They can still be helped though.

      They would either become ”…more enlightened; ‘…more intelligent; …more rationale in their thinking and expressions and more appreciative.’

      Better yet, they can even become ‘…more illiterate; …more ignorant; …more idiotic or …more stupid,’ not a darn thing to ‘…Audley Phillip and Rawlston Pompey.’

      Tell you what.

      Last weekend, ran into ‘…Family Dentistry’ dentist, ‘…Dr. Maxwell Francis.’ He likes the ‘…reasoning and the humor’ in the comments.

      He also likes ‘…Ras Smood’s ‘…poetic contributions.’

      Did not say anything about this ‘…Duncy Bat and Rock Head’ fellow though.

      Guess he has not visited when they had made their contributions.

  8. @AUDLEY PHILLIP, MR. POMPEY and ONE BIG DUTTY STUPESSSS

    TOTALLY IN AGREEMENT. WE CAN DISAGREE BUT STILL BE RESPECTFUL. LIKE YOU GUYS CONTRIBUTIONS ESPECIALLY MR.POMPEY.

  9. …preemptive strike, or Strike three!
    …take your pic, as you count to thirty three(33)
    …the highest elevation?

    • …preemptive, STRIKE!
      …or, STRIKE THREE(3)
      …take your pic, and then
      …reason, with logic!
      …because, between you and me!
      …this bout, shall take the Route
      …not through Sixty Sic Six
      …but, possibly Thirty Three(33)
      …the halfway Mark
      …on the way, to the Point
      …coming, Straight Outta Hell
      …for, some claim
      …due to, the Power and Fame
      …this is hotter, than a bread
      …soaking in, Brownee baking oven
      …waiting its turn, to be devoured?
      …for raising up, like Dean
      …who, is apparently no coward!

      …yes! Yes! Yes Sir!
      …raise those Standards!
      …raise them Boldy!
      …as, Each and Everyone
      …is called, to duty!
      …not, due to Idiocracy?
      …Trump like charges, or mirages
      …but, the literacy in, of Our democracy!
      …which could cause, such an erruption?
      …in Our Nation, and Jonas’s belly
      …that, what is being puked
      …could, be the stench
      …of, Us being nuked
      …by, preemptive strikes of fallacy
      …rather than, hot gases
      …farted, by the excited masses
      …jumping around, with joyfull glee
      …pompous pestering, and laughter
      …immediately, and right after!
      …strike one! Strike 2! Strike 3!

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