BVI News

COI: Suspicious that BVIPA instantly fires lawyer who flagged Patsy Lake rental

Pasea Place

Commissioner of Inquiry, Sir Gary Hickinbottom has found it suspicious that an attorney with the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) was sacked with immediate effect in 2019 after drafting a memorandum which addressed a potential conflict between the Port Authority’s Board and a lease for the Patsy Lake-owned Pasea Place. Lake was a prominent board member of the Ports Authority at the time.

He expressed that sentiment in his Commission of Inquiry (COI) report that was recently released to the public.

According to the report, a quote for the leasing of Pasea Place for commercial space was received from the company on July 25, 2019, and the Board agreed to start the lease on August 1, 2019.

General Counsel, Natalie Sandiford-Francis, who was reportedly brought in by then BVIPA Managing Director Lenius Lendor, was then asked to review the lease.

According to the report, Sandiford-Francis next reverted to then BVIPA Board Chairman, Nathaniel Isaac, on July 30, 2019, with “pre-contract inquiries/due diligence requisitions” and was instructed to write to the leasing company – VOP Investments Company Limited – with her inquiries.

By August 1, the attorney was instructed that the Board wished to proceed with the lease transaction as soon as possible.

She then reportedly did searches with both the Land Registry and Corporate Affairs registry as part of her due diligence.

The memo

In a memo dated August 8, 2019, and addressed to Lendor, the attorney questioned the correct name of the leasing company and asked whether it could actually lease the property since it appeared to be owned by Patsy Lake.

According to the COI report, Sandiford-Francis then proposed that a number of steps are taken, including confirming if any member of the BVIPA Board or senior management had an interest in the transaction.

The report said Lendor described receiving this memo late on a Friday as “very vivid in my mind“ before providing it to the Board.

But according to Lendor, that memo “didn’t appear to be well-received“.

The COI report further noted that a special meeting was convened the next Monday after that weekend and at that meeting, the Board resolved to make the post of General Counsel, which at the time had only existed for eight months, ‘redundant with immediate effect’.

Lendor told the COI that there was no further discussion on the memorandum afterwards.

Lawyer’s firing was ‘acute’ in its timing

Meanwhile, Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom said he didn’t have sufficient information to determine why the Board made the lawyer redundant.

“It is of course possible that this decision was entirely unconnected with the General Counsel‘s memorandum. But the timing is acute; and at least raises a suspicion that it may have been a curious reaction to legal advice,” Sir Gary said in the report.

He suggested that the wider point on the issue was whether all statutory boards have protocols in place to ensure that before they enter into a commercial lease, due diligence exercises are performed to the same extent as that undertaken by the BVI government.


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  1. resident says:

    lake is a fr**d who needs to be locked up yesterday

    Like 169
    Dislike 1
    • The mob says:

      I’ve always heard how she and R.S always acted like the port belonged to them. Nobody likes a bully

      Like 47
    • DISMANTLE BOARDS NOW!!!!!!!! says:


      Lake sits on (maybe more):

      Airport Authority Board
      Ports Authority Board
      Social Security Board

      Like 40
  2. Lmao says:

    Leave no stone unturned these people wicked and greedy

    Like 101
  3. Rubber Duck says:

    Was there any enquiry into the level of the rent? It is believed to be $295,000 per year for a building that needed massive amounts of further expenditure to make it habitable.

    Only in BVI.

    Like 116
    Dislike 1
  4. Pasea Estate Resident says:

    That building was a disaster from the beginning and TCP knew it. Unfortunately “Uncle R.T.O.” used his powers to override TCP and approved the application. The owner paid more to cut down the hill than the ugly eyesore of a structure. That entire building, its owner and the current tenants ( which are only there because the owner is on the BVIPA board ) are all complicit in a utter disaster of a process going back many years ago to now. It crosses multiple Gov administrations all culminating in this blatent corruption in plain sight. No wonder it stayed unoccupied all those years. Please dissolve BVIPA, BVIEC, Tourist Board, BVIAA and BVIHSA boards or request their chairpersons and board members resignations. It might be a mess to do this but have the tourist board move out of Akara, have the Premiers office move out of Cutlass Tower and finally have BVIPA move out of the abomination which is Pasea Place. Please BVI Gov. get off of the cronies ( K.F., R.F., P.Lake, B.Sylvester ) money tits.

    Like 158
    Dislike 1
    • don't forget says:

      please don’t forget the college board.that also need immediate removal. I was there when John came with such powers and giving instructions. then another one take over who don’t have a clue about a college besides knowing the one she went to.please please get rid of this board even the second incharge just full of talks with her bald head.

      Like 51
      Dislike 1
    • Enforcement is Key says:

      Very well said and articulated. You are absolutely correct on all fronts.

      Like 25
    • Hmmm says:

      I do agree these boards should be dismantled but where should these offices move to?

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
  5. Another bad building says:

    Yes please incarcerate the owner of this useless building and demolish it ASAP for it’s alleged criminal connections with the past BVI governments. After demolition construct and 8 ft. tall white painted plywood fence around the contaminated property just like the fence around the old Palm Grove Shopping Center. Allow 100 years for the property to purge itself of contamination then let it revert to its former life as a bush jungle and road noise barrier to the residents in Pasea.

    Like 29
  6. Remember says:

    This stuff has been going down for decades. Anyone else remember the mold problem in the Admin builing. Alvin Christopher, an elected representative was happy to lease commercial space for more than $ 1 million/year to govt in a building that turned out to have problems of its own and so could not used as leased. He still got his rent.

    Like 59
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  7. Common sense says:

    And they still want be allowed to govern themselves, surely the writing is on the wall.

    Like 48
    Dislike 2
  8. BuzzBvi says:

    That building is almost as ugly as Clementine.

    Like 20
    Dislike 1
  9. ... says:

    How does one get on one of these boards? Do these people get together in secret and to plot how to slice up the country’s profits…

    I wonder which of these ancient cronies would have been chosen to run the cannabis licensing board…

    Like 55
  10. smh says:

    And now the Deputy Premier is Patsy Lake’s son-in-law…. Really! Will it never end?

    Like 98
    Dislike 1
    • Exactly! says:

      If this was not politics as usual and about unity why not give Marlon Deputy? He is the most seasoned out the bunch and he was leader of his party/opposition.

      Like 44
      Dislike 7
      • Stop it says:

        Kye Rymer is a good man. He should not be penalized for his mother in law. She has been living off the government long before Kye decided to run for election. Kye is Deputy for Christ sake. At least he doesn’t have drug trafficking family in the East hmmm. Kye has done more in 3 years than Marlon did in 8 smoke that.

        Like 22
        Dislike 19
        • Crazy Joe says:

          People are judged by the company they keep.

          Like 13
        • @Stop it says:

          You right! He did a whole lot more in three years as a minister that made up the Cabinet! He sat and approved fake contracts for CSC, he sat and approved stimulus for fake farmers and fishermen, he sat and approved many contracts without the tender process. He sat and approved the AC contract for the sports complex that was overpriced. He sat and approved the millions paid for barges, he sat and approved 40 million to be taken from our SSI. May I go on??? He is one of the reasons we are here! You go and smoke that! Fool!!!

          Like 39
          Dislike 2
  11. GTFOH says:

    Sometimes government rape the people and sometimes the people rape government. Anybody willing to do business with government always feel the need to triple their fees, rent etc. because they feel government “rich” and the money is guaranteed. This is one of those people that have milked successive governments for everything they could get.

    Like 39
  12. Hmmm says:

    As long as you are not a YES Maam or YES Sir, they not going to like you. They want you to do whatever they say even though that you and them know that it is wrong. They either fire you or strip you of your powers.

    Like 23
  13. lol says:

    the black magic at work, lol. Aunt and nephew just alike.

    Like 19
  14. Shameful says:

    This appears to be a tale that has no end. It gets worse as more evidence of corruption surfaces. Shameful that personal gain has made those who consider themselves ‘elites’ to lose their dignity and any shred of respect the people may have had for them.
    The big man used to speak about the greedy and the needy. He was not needy but downright greedy. Those snotty folks who raped the government coffers on broad daylight and claimed love or country need to be splattered with wet manure. Shame on them, many of whom are only trying to stay relevant and barely have two pennies to knock together.
    I wonder how they are feeling right now? Mashed up this great little nation for a fistful of ill-begotten gains and dirty dollars, and now crying ‘unity’ after fleecing us.

    Like 30
    Dislike 1
  15. Thank You, BVI News says:

    This series of articles on the COI report is a great service to the community. Your hard work breaking down the report in ways we can all understand is appreciated.
    Thank You, BVI news.

    Like 25
  16. i tell ya says:


    Like 12
    • smh says:

      For many years now the rents/leases that Gov’t pays is well over $5M per year. If we bbuily a second Admin building for $25M that pays for itself in 5 years. We pillage, steal and mismanage money too much in BVI.

  17. MD says:

    Does the current MD remain an employee of the Port entitled to the highest salary while detained in the US? Will the MD be dismissed summarily or will she continue to receive her check while she sits and awaits trial? Is the salary for the MD over $12,000 per month? People have many burning questions.

    • Lily Ann says:

      Sis, the feds are on the land and Maynard accounts have been ceased … all gov payments and bank accounts

  18. Set of Criminals says:

    We really need some of these people to be prosecuted and go to Jail..

    Like 16
    Dislike 1

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