Nathan Landow
Nathan Landow

In the wake of the OBA’s internal investigation, the American businessman at the heart of the JetGate ordeal has reiterated that his group did nothing wrong in its dealings with former Premier Craig Cannonier.

“The only thing concerning to my group is that we did everything proper, we did everything the right way, according to the rules,” said real estate mogul Nathan Landow. “We don’t know what you guys are about down there. Our business is doing the right thing.”

Mr Landow, during a brief phone conversation on Monday, said he had not read OBA Chairman Thad Hollis’ report, which was released on Friday. It probed Mr Cannonier’s relationship with a group of businessmen who donated $350,000 to the Bermuda Political Action Club after meeting with Mr Cannonier to help the OBA in the run-up to the 2012 general election, which the OBA won.

Gary Moreno of ZBM first broke the JetGate story and Ayo Johnson of Think Media subsequently published detailed revelations. 

Mr Landow confirmed exclusively to the Bermuda Sun back in May that associates sent money to Bermuda. Premier Cannonier resigned three days later.   

On Monday, Mr Landow said he had never before heard of Mr Hollis, who launched an internal investigation into the matter after saying the donations were made and received without his knowledge. “What his concerns are have nothing to do with us,” Mr Landow told us.

No quid pro quo?

The Progressive Labour Party has said the money raises quid pro quo and corruption questions. Mr Landow had been interested in developing the former Club Med site in St. George’s into a resort. 

Mr Landow repeated his past statements about the reasons behind the donation, saying his group thought the donations would help Mr Cannonier — whom he described as “a man who showed great leadership ability” — foster job growth and turn Bermuda’s economy around by winning the election. He denied there was any quid pro quo.

Two of the seven businessmen who made the donations totaling $350,000 have been identified: Mr Landow and Washington D.C. builder Richard Cohen, whom we interview in May. Mr Landow declined to name the other businessmen on Monday. There is no campaign finance law in Bermuda that requires donors or donations to be made public.

In the conclusion of his report, Mr Hollis says the possibility of a “perceived promise made to Mr Landow and his associates either prior to the donation being made or as a consequence of the donation”, is disturbing.

“The key word there is perceived,” said Mr Landow.

Mr Hollis asserted in his report that OBA political consultant Derrick Green, who is in the thick of the JetGate political intrigue — had at one time a “commercial relationship” with Mr Landow.

Mr Landow rejected Mr Hollis’ characterization of him having a “commercial relationship” with Mr Green. “False. Totally inaccurate.”

He ended the phone call before expounding upon that statement. 

Mr Green declined to comment yesterday, saying he stood by the statement he made to the press earlier this week. 

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