The matter has come up again and again and, at one stage, in one of Prime Minister Douglas’ evasive responses to questions about it, he tried to deflect it by mentioning his son whose name is identical to his. He either forgot that his medical designation had been incorporated in the name on the cheque, or he did not care that it was a lame attempt at avoiding the question that had been posed. The cheque in question was made out in what appears to be the Prime Minster’s own handwriting, to “DR DENZIL L. DOUGLAS”. It was dated 30th December, 2009, and was drawn upon the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank.
I empathise with Dr. Douglas because, whether he likes it or not, this matter of Lex Consulting is not going away; it continues to dog him. The opposition People’s Action Movement has claimed to have documentation showing that upwards of EC$75,000,000 would have passed through the account(s) of Lex Consulting over a period of 15 years, and proceeded to disseminate some of that information in the lead-up to the last election. The local media have been able to do some digging of their own, and came up with information suggesting that Lex Consulting may not be doing the kind of activity that would generate that kind of income. 75 million over a 15-year period averages out to $5,000,000.00 per year. To make that kind of money takes a tremendous amount of work.
In light of all this, one has to question the source(s) from which this consulting firm could have earned $5,000,000.00 per annum. And if they are generating that level of income, should they not have tons of employees to manage their affairs? Should chief among those employees not be the owner and operator, Alex Woodley? If a business that is owned and operated by Alex Woodley is grossing this level of income, how is it that she is in this nation’s employ, at our diplomatic mission in New York? Which of these two endeavours is her sideline? Either one is rather lucrative!
Let’s take a look at this matter from the standpoint of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party because, as Dr. Douglas has said, Lex Consulting has conducted business on their behalf. In light of Lex’s seeming inactivity, one wonders if the SKNLP is their only client. If that is the case, then the question as to how they have been able to generate $5,000.000.00 per year, still looms. Entities like TDC and Horsford’s, conducting business in goods and services struggle to come up with a pre-tax profit of $15,000,000.00 in a year, notwithstanding prudent management and the services of close to a thousand employees. By contrast, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is not engaged in that kind of activity and, from my amateurish way of looking at things, I cannot see them pulling in that kind of money, not even with contributions from Kittitians living abroad. Our election cycle is five years. As such, in preparation for any election, are we to believe that they would have pulled in $25,000,000.00? If that is the case, why is that money being managed from New York and not St. Kitts? Why should that manager be the mother of the party leader’s children?
In fairness to Dr. Douglas, he never claimed that the money in question is his salary because his income from his job as Prime Minister is no secret to anyone. Those figures form part of the estimates that are published in conjunction with the annual budget. However, even if you allowed him the overstated sum of, say, $25,000.00 per month over the entire 15 years that he has been in office, he still would not have grossed as much as $5,000,000.00.
In the words of the 1970s Johnny Nash tune, “There are more questions than answers!” And, given the Prime Minister’s reluctance to come clean on the issue, they are sure to continue. He exhibits frustration whenever he is asked about it and the press, timidly, seems to back away but at their next encounter, someone should spring it again. To make matters worse, former minister in his administration, Dwyer Astaphan, is said to have in his possession, a document of some 150 pages, the main subject of which is Lex Consulting. All Dr. Douglas really needs to do is to fully explain to the nation his connection with this company as well as the source(s) of all that money, and let the chips fall where they may. That is, unless he prefers to be forced to do so under oath when he demits office. Scripture says: “…you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. John 8:32.