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Fahy denies DeCosta’s campaign finance invoices claim

Invoices from OBA activist Steven DeCosta were signed off by then-campaign chief Michael Fahy in the run-up to the 2012 general election.

But Sen Fahy said the invoices were for work carried out for the OBA and paid for out of party funds — and not connected with the Bermuda Political Action Club account.

Sen Fahy, now Home Affairs Minister, was speaking after Mr DeCosta said on a radio talk show that Sen. Fahy had signed off on invoices for party work.

“For things that were going to be billed to the party, if it was billed to the party, they would presumably present me with invoices and presumably ask me if this work was done. Then it would be paid by the executive,” Sen Fahy said.

Sen Fahy added that — while OBA consultant and BPAC account signatory Derrick Green was a paid party consultant, Mr DeCosta was not. “There was nothing wrong going on,” he said.

“If indeed they presented me with other invoices which weren't paid for the OBA, I don't remember. But I'm not running from anything.”

And Sen Fahy said signing invoices separate from the BPAC account, which was not an official OBA one, did not contradict his personal explanation in Senate on Wednesday. Sen Fahy added of the BPAC account: “I did not set it up, it wasn't to do with me. And I didn't have any problem with it.”

The Wednesday statement said that — contrary to a report into the account by party chairman Thad Hollis, who resigned days after its release, he did not “confirm” the BPAC account, but only confirmed to bank officials that Mr Green worked for the OBA and that he had a work permit.

Sen Fahy added: “Thad's report was inaccurate and some parts didn't make sense. I will deal with that internally.”

And he repeated that he also had no access to the BPAC account or the donations made to it. He added that he did not know the identity of the donors or see or receive bank statements relating to the account.

His Senate statement said: “In other words, I had no control whatsoever over the account. I was only made aware of the full donation amounts well after the election was over.”

And he said that — as it was not an official OBA account — Mr DeCosta and Mr Green could have legitimately used it for work in support of the election campaign without his approval or knowledge.

The account sparked controversy after it was revealed that US tycoon Nathan Landow, together with a group of American businessmen, had donated a total of $350,000 to the BPAC account.

The affair was dubbed Jetgate after it was revealed that former Premier Craig Cannonier, with Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell and ex-Attorney General Mark Pettingill and Mr Cannonier's business associate Mr DeCosta, had travelled on Mr Landow's private jet for a meeting in the US to discuss investment in Bermuda in March, 2013.

Mr Landow, who had been linked to proposals to develop the former Club Med site in St George's, later failed to submit a proposal for the site.

But — amid mounting pressure — Mr Cannonier was forced to resign, although he denied any wrongdoing.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy

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Published July 26, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm)

Fahy denies DeCosta’s campaign finance invoices claim

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