BVI News

Patsy Lake fails in bid to avoid COI!

Businesswoman and member of multiple government statutory bodies, Patsy Lake

Businesswoman and prominent Virgin Islander, Patsy Lake has failed in an apparent bid to have herself excluded from providing evidence and producing documents after being summoned to appear before the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI).

Lake, who serves as the Deputy Chair of the BVI Airports Authority, a member of the Social Security Board and a Director of the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park, appeared before the COI on May 6.

According to Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom, it was understood that Lake entered into a number of contracts with various arms of the BVI government, not only in her own name, but also through various businesses and companies.

Summons is a fishing exercise

Lake unsuccessfully made two applications when she appeared before the Commissioner.

Firstly, she sought an application that would have allowed her attorney, Terrance Neale of McW Todman & Co to represent her before the COI.

Secondly, Lake requested that she not be required to appear before the COI and offer evidence or supply documents to the Commission on the basis that she might “incriminate” herself in doing so. Her attorney also argued in her application that the summons was in breach of the rules of natural justice, among other things.

Attorney Neale argued that the summons his client received appeared to be a “fishing exercise” for evidence to formulate a case against Lake.

Sir Gary said the first application was refused on the basis that an application needed to be made in writing to the Commissioner confirming legal representation. The application, Sir Gary said, would not be allowed in the absence of a direction from him confirming representation of the attorney as a participant.

However, Sir Gary conceded that the COI rules may permit a witness to have Counsel present when giving evidence to the COI. The attorney was, therefore, allowed advise Lake during her appearance.

Argument based on false premise

Sir Gary said Mr Neal’s second application to exclude Lake was based on a false premise.

While reiterating that the COI is ‘investigatory and inquisitorial’ and ‘not adversarial’, Sir Gary stated: “It is not part of the function of the COI to “make a case” against anyone but rather to see whether there is information that corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty in relation to public officials has taken place.”

Lake’s attorney had also argued that his client may not have access to some of the documents requested by the COI or may be restricted in producing them due to confidentiality reasons.

He further argued that the COI is able to obtain all of the requested documents from the government; hence making the summons unnecessary.

In refuting the arguments, Sir Gary countered that Neale did not pursue any suggestion that the summons was issued in anything but good faith.

He also argued that Lake not having access to the requested documents did not make the summons unlawful or invalid. 

“Ms Lake, of course, does not have to produce documents that are not in her possession or control,” Sir Gary said, adding that she can clarify which documents she had control of.

Sir Gary further noted that the COI is unable to request documents from the government concerning arrangements between the government and companies with which Lake is connected because it cannot necessarily identify all of those companies.

Turning to the issue of self-incrimination, Sir Gary said witnesses can object to answering questions.

“No person is bound to answer any question in civil proceedings if the answer to that question would in the opinion of the court have a tendency to expose him or her to any criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture which the court regards as reasonably likely to be pursued,” the Commissioner stated.

During the course of the hearing, Lake agreed to provide documents in her possession or control relating to her contractual dealings with government bodies.

The Commission of Inquiry was issued on January 19, 2021, to look into whether corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty may have taken place amongst the public, elected and statutory officials in recent years.

Follow BVI New’s coverage of the 2021 Commission of Inquiry on Instagram @BVINewsOnline #TrackingTransparency at www.bvinews.com.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

84 Comments

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  1. Duh says:

    If Miss Lake is so poor as a business woman that she keeps no records then why is she on all of these boards? If she is good enough to be in the boards then she legally is responsible enough to keep records.
    Or she is a succeasful individual weielding plenty of power and influence with a possibility of corruption in her dealings with the Govt and VIP Party??

    Like 180
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  2. Not Valid says:

    Witch hunt to get at Ms. Lake.

    Like 7
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  3. The Nation speaks says:

    So was she asked about her dealings with NDP? When the NDP questions coming? Is this a witchhunt against Fahie and the VIP? When the questions on the Pier Park and the.election petty contracts and the fortress school wall and the house of assembly catering contracts from 4 – 9 years ago going to be asked. If this is against Fahie alone then we know this is nothing but massa beating Kunta Kinte to call he-self toby.

    Like 21
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    • VI Gyal says:

      Fahie is who campaign and asked for COI so let him tek that.

      But they are to investigate all of that.

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    • Yes says:

      She was asked to confirm government dealings up to 3 years ago which would have included NDP. Further, it’s crystal clear that the UK has information about wholesale corruption against this administration and are digging it out. It’s not long before they all lawyer up and turn against each other. Why did the outspoken Pastor go so quiet? The stimulus distribution alone tells us how corrupt these people are, no shame at all. So many millions spent and they have no shame to be in the media explaining why our kids cannot go to school after a whole year to plan for it.

      Like 136
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      • Monkey business says:

        Anyone could hear Patsy complain that the NDP government were refusing to rent her Tower a few years ago. Then when her nephew became Premier, it was rented straight away.

        So that’s all right then.

        Like 66
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        • MIgoman says:

          Dont forget the building on the highway across from the Moorings. Rented to the ports authority I think. All of that under VIP.

          Like 52
      • Damn shame ful says:

        Yes …set of hypocrite like them high society members and harbores

        Like 19
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    • Bingo!! says:

      You hit the nail on the head!

      Like 49
      Dislike 1
    • Groce says:

      Anything else of a racist nature you’d like to get off your chest?

      Dislike 35
      • V4 says:

        If it’s illegal activity it’s a crime it does not or should not matter what colour you are my un learned friend

        Like 10
  4. lol says:

    Should be ashamed of herself. Too old for this level of nonsense.

    Should have just walked away. It would be interesting to know how many agreements she has with the government.

    Like 138
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  5. Fahie is family says:

    Good to see that all statutory boards are populated with Fahie’s family members. Nothing wrong with that! Why have written contracts if you can keep everything undocumented.

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  6. Oh Dear says:

    Secondly, Lake requested that she not be required to appear before the COI and offer evidence or supply documents to the Commission on the basis that she might “incriminate” herself in doing so.

    Like 93
  7. heckler says:

    They never thought their day would’ve come but the gravy train will now finally come to a halt

    Like 101
    • Bucket says:

      She should have known because the old people them always been saying: everyday bucket go a well and one day it bottom fall out! And I younger than she – she could be my mother and I know this saying.

      Like 32
    • Finally says:

      It’s about time.

  8. YOUTH says:

    This is pure mischief by the newsite and the CoI

    Like 4
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    • Get to The Facts says:

      Pure mischief you say?? Well read the transcript, if the lady had nothing to hide she would have been much more forthcoming and ready to clear herself. The questions and her answers clearly give rise to a few eyebrows being raised.

      Time for the nonsense in this place to end. I wished they had asked her about being on the BVI Ports Board and how that building came to be rented. I suspect she will be back before the COI again shortly.

      Like 97
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      • Hmmn says:

        They actually asked her if she was ever appointed to any other Board(s) besides BVIAA, Social Security and Pier Park, and she said no. So the BVI Ports didn’t come up….

        • What??!! says:

          Well that was a bold face lie if that was the question. She was on the Ports Board and the Minutes are recorded… I hope the COI reading. She was a member of BVIPA.

  9. Clearly says:

    This CoI is well organized to put Virgin Islands people against each other. This is not about fairness at all. This is a set up.

    Like 8
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    • Here goes... says:

      I think some of the Virgin Island people turned against the rest of us a long time ago and the CoI will hopefully shine a light on their selfish and immoral activities.

      Like 11
    • Swamp says:

      Are you serious? I thought you were elected to drain the Swamp?

  10. Hmmm says:

    No one can convince me that the COI is independent from the UK and the Governor. It is a modern day slave tactic.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody needs to convince you of anything.
      All we need to do is sit back and watch the alleged corrupt politicians and their cronies get what they deserve. Ballo going to be FULL!

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    • @Hmmm says:

      You have 2 conflicting statements here –
      Of course it not “independent from the UK & the Governor” -BVI is not an free from the UK –
      -But-
      It could also be a “modern day slave tactic”

      Until BVI releases itself & learn to exist separate from the UK the island will always be trampled by the UK – sorry but that’s the truth!

      Get your heads out of your a**ses; enough resources there to be self serving. It will be hard at the start as you work to adjust but it will soon come together with time.

      Good Luck! Control your own demise.

  11. Right! says:

    Expose them all! What are they hiding? Why are you trying to hide how the public purse was spent. If you do not have the documents in your possession and the government does not know all your companies, then confirm what COI has regarding you is correct or state incorrect. It is that simple!

    Too much badness been going on too too long.

    Like 95
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  12. Rubber Duck says:

    Every building she puts up is rented by the VIP government. If she built some chicken coops the government would rush to rent them. We see the Ports Authority has rented new premises in Pasea. Prominent member of the Ports Authority and landlady of the building they just rented , Ms Patsy Lake.
    And people wonder why there is a COI.

    Like 103
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    • ehe says:

      how many built in the last three years? If that is zero then it would be the previous government which got two consecutive terms, making your statement false.

      Like 5
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    • Observer says:

      @ Rubber Duck. Were the spaces rented just because of who they belong to, or there is a genuine need for space? Do you have space to let, while Govt. offices relocate to facilitate the renovation of the Admin. Complex?

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  13. Set her free says:

    She from here so why do all this bad stuff to her? She is a hero and she gets paid, no crime here!

    Like 3
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    • I SMELL A RAT says:

      What Hero??
      … Sir Noel Lloyd who did ALL the hard work to save our country from being sold out from under us and all he got was a statue and she got what?

    • Strupssssssss says:

      STFU! How about that? That is why the nonsense does not stop! Because of idiots like you.

      Like 37
  14. OK TEK ALL says:

    some people just want all of everyting , even if they are going into their casket they will want their casket filled with $$$$$

    Like 57
  15. LG says:

    What are her credientials for sitting on all these boards???? is she an expert in aviation, tourism or social security?

    Like 95
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    • Hmm says:

      NOOOOOOOOO! She is the premier’s cousin, that’s her qualification. Thats how it is here in the BVI, people who are not qualified for positions are appointed because of “who dem fah”.

      Like 38
    • @LG says:

      She’s an expert in “incriminating herself” she said it. LMAO

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  16. 007 says:

    The transcript of her answers to the COI is published elsewhere. She keeps no paperwork and claims all paperwork is destroyed when payment comes in.
    Handy system for covering your tracks but illegal in BVI where company records must be kept available for 7 years.

    Like 87
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    • Question says:

      You don’t think she sees the illegality of no company records
      being a no brainier instead of corruption charges, do you?
      I’m far too trusting to think such a thing but others are more cynical.

      Like 17
  17. ReX FeRaL says:

    The chickens must come to roost at some point.

    Like 32
  18. @Clearly says:

    If they did things sensbily there would be no fear of anybody going against the other. The fact that they were trying not to appear says it all. When they jumped on Mark for Pier Park and Myron for ESHS wall they both stood up and dealt with them head on. Why can’t these guys do the same? If you know you haven’t done wrong then do the necessary to be vindicated. You cannot expect to be careless, sloppy and pompous then when you get caught up you casting blame?

    Like 47
    • @@Clearly says:

      Mark and Myron took their lick and went on and clear their names. MARK AND MYRON IS NOT TIED UP IN THE MESS. AND I MEAN MESS. SOMEONE IS GOING TO JAIL.

      Like 10
  19. Cleared says:

    These NDP so called corruption projects have been investigated already that’s why. VIP campaigned and won on spewing pure false allegations. I can’t believe what I’m seeing unfolding before my very eyes. Why didn’t you mention the airline?? Is it because the NDP got a big win for the government recently? These folks are not here to play your stupid VIP vs NDP games. You made up your be so now lay in it!

    Like 37
    Dislike 3
    • Yawn says:

      Lol no sah all alleged criminals will get their chance in court whether NDP , VIP or PPP. We not doing that preference thing over here. Payments to BVI Airways were made outside of a written schedule under part of a contract. Now $7.2 million gone without any benefit. Somebody going jail whether it’s the FS for approving the payments, the former Premier for authorizing the payments, the former director RG or the former consultant who worked for Tourist Board.

      Like 16
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      • TB says:

        You mean a former chairman of the tourist board

        Like 4
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      • @Yawn says:

        The VIP pissed away over $6 million just to non-tax paying so called farmers and fisherfolks and you are still worrying about the $7 million?

        It has been proven in a legally constituted tribunal that the VI Government just trusted co-partners in a business deal and did nothing else wrong so money should be able to be recouped. Who will get back our $6 million from the under 100 I think alleged farming and fishing folks? It seems to me that the VIP supporters should be looking into the dealings of this new Government and the $40 million from our Social Security money or is it over $300 million in a two year span that obviously went to cronies and supporters so that come election time it is war on the streets. Value for money is not a term known by our present Finance Minister et al. At least we would have gotten a plane to fly flights out of our airport that anyone could buy a seat on. What do we get for all this invisible money disappearing into the streets? And when I say into the streets, it is not being paved with it or our streets would be properly paved. They are disgusting for a country who spends money a million at a time.

        Like 14
  20. Wellsah says:

    Why one person on so many boards.is there not other people who want work? That in itself needs investigating.

    Like 65
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    • Board member says:

      No problem with Andrew putting his peeps on the Boards…but the problem is that THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED… Airport Board …not one of them have any prior knowledge of airports…etc. check out the Port Board etc…

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  21. Resident says:

    what is done in darkness must come to light

    Like 47
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  22. @ youth says:

    We know you are a canary and allegedly blogging under all kinds of names but some of you blood pressure will go up when your hidden secrets are revealed but it will be good for the doctors

    Like 7
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  23. @ hmmm says:

    No one has to convince you . When the dust has SETTLED YOU will get all the chance to look in the mirror and do it for yourself, if you got the balls👋😁

    Like 14
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  24. Subpoena Her says:

    Subpoena her and if she doesn’t show up the rest is very simple. What’s the big deal?

    Like 31
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    • I agree says:

      Subpoena her, If she don’t show up, SIMPLY ISSUE A WARRANT FOR ARREST. IS SHE HIDING A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS?

  25. lol..comedy says:

    Patsy does not appear to remember nothing. Looks like she just collected her money, place it in her purse, and kept walking.

    Contract? What contract? Receipts? What receipts? I don’t remember nothing. All I remember is I got paid late, and they turned my hotel into a prison.

    Like 52
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  26. MS. P? says:

    THE BOARD MUSICAL CHAIRS IS NOT A GOOD THING. BAD, BAD, BAD. I TOLD YOU GUYS THIS IS THE YEAR ALL THE WHAT GOES IN THE WASH WILL COME OUT IN THE RINSE CYCLE. NO ONE IS GOING TO GET AWAY FROM THE COI. THE COI IS LIKE THE FEDS SO MAY AS WELL NOT LIE TO THEM ABOUT THINGS THAT THEY ALREADY KNOW ABOUT.

    Like 34
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  27. Question regarding another says:

    How if they been imprisoned for fraud can you sit on a board? How is this allowed to happen? Someone please help me.

    Like 4
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  28. Hmmm says:

    This is precisely why there needs to be the COI. Anyone who denies this is not respecting fair play and the law.

    Like 31
    Dislike 7
  29. Colonialism says:

    Divide and conquer. Old British colonial tactic. Make bvi people fight against each other.

    Like 8
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  30. MK says:

    @Set her free, What makes Patsy Lake a hero? I will really like to know.

    Like 28
    • lol says:

      I think they say she was there when Noel Lloyd was protesting.

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
      • Let me tell you says:

        She was there … Noel Lloyd and the others did the hard work… Let the older folk tell you what went down. What’s happening here is people trying to rewrite history but those who know, know! This is the problem in this place.

        Like 9
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  31. capelton says:

    “that day will come”

  32. scarface says:

    “every dog has his day”

    Like 12
  33. Jah KNOW says:

    W1N0 like they scared to put up this story. Why them alone aint bring the story yet? lol

    Like 19
  34. Dear Ms. P Lake says:

    … COOPERATE WITH THE COI. THEY ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING. YOU ARE TO OLD TO BE GOING TO …

  35. lilis says:

    if theres anything eligal this is from way back when NDP was there and still doing a lot of crimes and eligal business

    Like 2
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  36. Hibicus says:

    Pasty lake has so many post and dont know how to use a computer? We are in a technolgy world, she needs to get out and go write her reciepts for her …

    Like 18
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  37. hmmmm says:

    . . . why has she always held so much power over the Head of this country?? Nothing new here folks, old people know who she is. . .

    Like 8
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  38. Very soon says:

    They are going to turn on each other. THERE IS GOING TO BE A WHOLE LOTTA DRY SNITCHING GOING ON.

  39. Irma chisit says:

    Confiscate the gadgets and wutup records.

  40. @Set her free says:

    She only have a little touch of AMNESIA ( selective ) the probe is just getting warm , the real 🔥 is yet to come

    Like 10
  41. Leh me see says:

    According to the schedule, Claude went last week Tuesday, Bevis on Thursday and the Premier today. Can’t wait to read those transcripts.

    Like 14
  42. unbelevable says:

    Was it a year that the Tower building was rented before the Premier moved in? What did it cost tax payers.

  43. Belonger says:

    I remember how she battled Town and Country Planning to get her building on the highway approved …

  44. Lol says:

    Nobody:

    Premier: (On the phone to Mr. Speaker) tell your journalists them don’t put up Aunty Pat story.

    Mr.Speaker: Snm fam

  45. Curious says:

    Is the Commission looking into the use of Cutlass House by the Premier and the designation of Paradise Hotel for quarantine and the rates charged? Or if there was a public tender put out for these? Just curious.

  46. The real problem says:

    The real problem we have in this country is the people we vote for, Those in government that sit back like uneducated fools, without brain and courage and let Fahie do wht he wants..Why are they so scarwd to stand up to Fahie and say when he is wrong..

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