Third District Representative Julian Fraser has completely denied claims of any conflict of interest regarding his brothers’ involvement in a project in his Sea Cows Bay constituency while he was a serving government minister.
Fraser, the then Minister of Communication & Works under a previous Virgin Islands Party administration, was fielding questions from the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI).
The issue of a conflict arose from the Auditor General’s August 2014 report on the Sea Cows Bay Harbour Development Project in Fraser’s District.
The legislator’s brother — as a shareholder in Hannah Reclamation Limited — leased a Sea Cow’s Bay lot that would be a part of the project. According to the report, things were further compounded by the fact that two of Fraser’s brothers were among those who received petty contracts for the project.
Fraser said he didn’t see any of these to be a problem, stating that he had no dealings with contractors at the time.
“I saw no conflict of interest as far as I’m concerned on this project,” Fraser told COI attorney Bilal Rawat on Wednesday.
Frasers’ brothers paid for unfinished work
It was further reported that two of the district representative’s brothers – Earl and Kenneth Fraser – had received substantial payments for work that was never done.
The report said both brothers received a 10 percent deposit and neither completed the task.
Details from the report also revealed that all of the funds applied in 2011 – which amounted to a little more than $335,000 – were focused on bulkheading the West End of the Harbour, which included but was not limited to an area owned or leased by Earl Fraser of Hannah’s Reclamation.
Among other things, the report also highlighted several other discrepancies, including the fact that the cost of the project rose dramatically from an initial estimate of $1.4 million to more than $6.6 million.
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