Top Trini officials being probed

PORT OF SPAIN — Sport Minister Anil Roberts, his permanent secretary, Ashwin Creed, and special adviser to the T&T Boxing Board of Control, Boxu Potts, may have a case to answer as allegations of misbehaviour in public office against the trio have been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The move by the Integrity Commission comes a year after sacked board member Ricardo Phillip filed a complaint against the three, alleging misconduct and misbehaviour in public office.

In a letter dated March 14, Integrity Commission Registrar Martin Farrell wrote to Phillip saying the matter had been referred to DPP Roger Gaspard. The letter, headed “Investigation by the Integrity Commission into complaint against the TTBBC,” said the commission had completed its probe of the complaint.

“In keeping with the requirements of Section 31 (1) of the Integrity in Public Act, Chpt 22.01, the Commission has referred this matter to the DPP,” it added. Phillip had written to the commission on December 3, 2011, calling for an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds at the TTBBC relating to several events. In addition, Phillip also raised issue with a $1.9 million boxing card that was applied for by Potts’ son Giovanni, who is also a boxing promoter, citing an apparent conflict of interest.

In his letter, Phillip complained he was sacked because he did not support the funding of the $1.9 million card for the Boxing Day 2011 event, which was scheduled for Jean Pierre Complex, Port-of-Spain. Phillip wrote: “This letter represents my complaints to members of the board with regard to the minister, the permanent secretary (Mr. Creed) and Boxu Potts.

“It was sent to my fellow members two days after my refusal to support a boxing card for Mr Potts and his son. My position is in keeping with the laws of T&T and specifically the Integrity in Public Life Act Chpt 22.01.” Telephone calls and messages to Roberts and Creed went unanswered yesterday.

However, Potts, when contacted told T&T Guardian he had not yet been informed the matter had been referred to the DPP. He said: “I am not aware of it and I am not at liberty to talk about it. If that has happened I will let it take its legal course. “I have no feeling. I really do not know what to expect. They chips will have to fall where they have to fall. I really do not have any expectation of anything. I have nothing more to say.”

Contacted for comment yesterday, Phillip told the T&T Guardian he felt vindicated by the Integrity Commission’s move to refer the matter to the DPP. “All the facts are going to come out and the public will realise what we are saying all along,” he said. “The allegations were not vague or malicious. They are based on painful experiences of what we have seen and stood against. There are those who tried to discredit because we were interfering with things that did not concern us, but we believed in God and country first.” (Guardian)

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