Roban: ‘I honestly felt this was the best for both me and the Premier’
Walter Roban has spoken out for the first time since he quit as Public Works Minister amid accusations of corruption.
Mr Roban came under intense criticism for granting planning permission to Progressive Labour Party colleagues Zane DeSilva and Wayne Furbert on his final day as Environment Minister, against the advice of his technical officers.
This afternoon, in the House of Assembly, he told MPs he wished to exercise his right to make a personal statement.
“I felt it important to address these matters in this place. Yesterday, on Thursday November 13, I tendered my resignation as Minister of Public Works,” he said.
“In recent days there has been heightened public criticism of my decision prior to the recent Cabinet shuffle.”
He said that heightened criticism “resulted in accusations of corruption, the perception of which I do deeply regret.”
Mr Roban said it was not his intention to have accusations of corruption impact on the PLP Government by his presence in the Premier’s Cabinet.
“It was after careful consideration of the events that have transpired that I honestly felt this was the best for both me and the Premier. The Honourable Premier reluctantly accepted. I want it to remain clear that I remain a steadfast supporter of the Honourable Premier Paula Cox and the work of this Government,” said Mr Roban.
Following Mr Roban’s resignation Premier Paula Cox today announced the re-assignment of portfolios affecting three Ministers of Government.
Premier Cox stated: “Minister Michael Weeks has been assigned to the Ministry of Public Works which includes the responsibility for the Departments of Works and Engineering, Parks and Conservation Services as well as the Bermuda Housing Corporation, the West End Development Corporation and the Bermuda Land Development Company.
“The Minister of Economy Trade and Industry has been given the additional responsibility for the portfolio of Community Development with the exception of charities. Minister Patrice Minors now will have responsibility for the Libraries and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and oversight of the Parish Councils.
“The responsibility for charities has been assigned to the Ministry of Government Estates and Information Services under Minister Michael Scott.
“At this time there will no additional Cabinet appointments. Your Government will be doing more with fewer Ministers while at the same time providing opportunities for Junior Ministers to shoulder a little more responsibility.”