MONDAY, JULY 9: A pastor at the centre of a row over the Bermuda Land Development Corporation (BLDC) was today announced as the PLP candidate for St George’s South.
Leroy Bean will go head-to-head with Suzanne Holshouser in the seat.
Pastor Bean said: “The dream I envision for Bermuda under a PLP Government is more cohesion and peace between black and white, rich and poor, while by the same token encouraging each of us to respect those that might have differences of opinion.
“The time for polarization must end in order for Bermuda to experience true freedom and wholeness we so desperately need.
“We must put away the petty games that have derailed and divided us as a country for too long. The time for Bermuda to be healed is now.”
Mr Bean made no reference to the BLDC row during his speech at Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club.
The Bermuda Sun revealed in May that the popular pastor faced being dumped by the party, although the constituency wanted him to stay as candidate.
The branch feared that controversy surrounding his time as deputy chairman of the BLDC had given the PLP’s Alaska Hall HQ second thoughts.
The constituency party, however, maintained that Pastor Bean, known for his community and anti-gang work, had done nothing wrong.
A spokesman for the party said: “The PLP encourages the residents of Constituency #4 St George’s South to support Pastor Leroy Bean on election day by voting him in as a member of Parliament. He will work hard for the people of Constituency #4 and the people of Bermuda.”
Earlier this year, Auditor General Heather Jacobs Matthews accused Pastor Bean and former BLDC chairman Edward Saunders of a “fundamental conflict of interest” in a report into the misuse of funds.
Ms Jacobs Matthews said that $160,000 in consultancy fees paid to the two men for preparing a report into the management of the BLDC should not have been sanctioned and was a breach of the Companies Act because the two had failed to declare an interest.
She added that some of the payments to the two, which were made on a rolling basis, had not been properly approved by the BLDC board.
She also called for the consultancy cash to be paid back – a move backed by Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox and she also called for the pair to be removed from the board.
The cross-party House of Assembly Public Accounts Committee is still discussing the report, although Pastor Bean and Mr Saunders have already appeared before the committee.