News of the Integrity Commission's decision to refer allegations against them to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have been made public. However, the principals at the heart of the matter remain silent.
Efforts by the Express yesterday to reach Minister of Sport Anil Roberts and his permanent secretary Ashwin Creed were unsuccessful, while Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board special adviser Buxo Potts said he had nothing to say at this time.
The Trinidad and Tobago Integrity Commission has forwarded a file to the DPP for investigation, following an accusation against the three men by former Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board member Ricardo Phillip.
Yesterday, neither Roberts nor Creed responded to phone or text messages seeking comment on the issue, while Potts remained steadfast with his position.
"I have no comment. I am sitting in front of a lawyer right now and my answer is no comment," stated the usually outspoken Potts.
Roberts, Creed and Potts were reported to the Commission by Phillip over a year ago. Phillip alleged inappropriate action by the trio in a number of matters related to the distribution of Government funds and the hiring of Board personnel.
Phillip's letter dated December 3, 2011, was sent to Martin Farrell, registrar of the Integrity Commission and copied to Dave Bobb, Director of Sports, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. The Integrity Commission finally responded on March 14, informing Phillip that the matter was now in the hands of the DPP's office
In its header, Phillip's letter to the Integrity Commission stated: "This letter represents my complaints to Members of the Board with regards to the Minister, the Permanent Secretary (Mr Creed) and Mr Boxu Potts. It was sent to my fellow members two days after my refusal to support a boxing card for Mr Potts and his son. My position is keeping within the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and specifically the Integrity in Public Life Act chapter 22:01."
Phillip had alleged that he was among four Boxing Board officials sacked because of their reluctance to sanction the approval of funds for a $1.9 million boxing card submitted by promoter Giovanni Potts, son of Buxo Potts. Sacked were former deputy chairman Phillip, Yaqub Abdul-Haqq and ordinary board members Janet Dennis and Mala Nasib. They were replaced by Annabelle Davis, who became Board chairman, Ruth Marchan, Colin Mills (Tobago) and Neale Greaves.
Commenting on the latest developments yesterday, Phillip said he felt no elation, but was comforted that the process was working. He described the situation at the Ministry of Sport as a "runaway horse" that need to be stopped.
"I hope this inspires other people similar to myself not to just stand idly by and see corruption run rampant," Phillip said.
Phillip further added that he hopes justice will be done. He said that when he took up the position of Tobago member of the Boxing Board he had hoped to leave a legacy of good work. Phillip further added that he refused to engage in any corrupt practises.