MP Brown Questions Bermuda Stone Removal

April 30, 2015

[Updated] Pembroke Central MP Walton Brown has questioned the circumstances surrounding the Bermuda stone excavated from the wall bordering Government House, saying he understands it was “removed without authorisation,” and the Public Works Ministry has said the Minister “did not grant permission to remove the stone.”

Mr Brown said, “As the Member of Parliament for Constituency 17, Pembroke Central, which includes the Black Watch Pass area, I have closely monitored the construction of the new roundabout.

“This week I received reports from multiple sources that the Bermuda stone excavated from the wall bordering Government House was removed without authorisation.”

april-Bermuda-Stone-2

Mr Brown said  these sources report that an individual “removed most of the stone around 5:30am Sunday; when he returned Monday for the remainder of the Bermuda stone and was asked by Works & Engineering staff who authorised him to take the stone, he replied ‘Minister Cannonier.”

“These are a disturbing set of revelations which require formal answers. On one level there appears to be an explicit violation of government financial instructions and I call on the appropriate staff within the Ministry to investigate and act accordingly,” Mr Brown added.

april-Bermuda-Stone-3

Mr Brown said he had questions for Minister Cannonier, including whether he granted permission to the person to remove Bermuda stone that was in the possession of the Bermuda Government, if so was this done in accordance with Bermuda Government financial instructions, and what fee was paid for this stone.

In response, a spokesperson from the Public Works Ministry said, “The Minister did not grant permission to remove the stone.”

Update May 1, 9.59am: Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said, “Yesterday’s revelation that assets of the Bermuda Government were removed from a Works & Engineering jobsite should concern all Bermudians. There are strict laws in place to prevent the theft of government assets and the public deserve answers about what has happened to their property.

“There is no doubt that a substantial amount of Bermuda Stone was removed from a W&E worksite. Media reports indicate that the stone is now located at a private property in Paget. Minister Craig Cannonier’s statement denying that he gave permission for anyone to remove the Bermuda Stone only raises more questions.

“Financial Instructions state that only the Permanent Secretary can give permission for government property to be sold or disposed of. The Minister must answer if permission was given by the Permanent Secretary for this property to be removed in accordance with financial instructions.

“If the Permanent Secretary did not give permission then the property has been removed without permission and financial instructions [below] state that the authorities must be contacted.”

17.2.3 Destruction, Loss, Theft or Abandonment of Capital Assets

“Where the Accounting Officer identifies capital assets that have been destroyed, lost, stolen or abandoned, the Accounting Officer must notify the Accountant General of the circumstances of the loss, theft or abandonment of the asset.

“Where the Accounting Officer identifies any misappropriation of assets due to theft and/or intentional destruction, loss or abandonment or any other fraudulent means, the Accounting Officer will immediately contact the Accountant General and/or Internal Audit, the Bermuda Police Service and the Office of the Auditor General as per FI Section 4.6.

“The Accounting Officer must document the circumstances and extent of the financial loss in a memorandum addressed to the Accountant General, Internal Audit and the Office of the Auditor General. The Accounting Officer will then proceed under the advisement of the Bermuda Police Service and the Accountant General with any punitive or criminal proceedings as a result of the intentional act.”

“Minister Cannonier must immediately confirm if permission was given by the Permanent Secretary for the Bermuda Stone to be removed. If permission was not given, Minister Cannonier must confirm that this matter has been referred to the Bermuda Police Service in accordance with Government’s Financial Instructions.

“Those are the only two possible ways to resolve the serious questions surrounding the removal of Government property from a Works & Engineering worksite. There is CCTV covering the location and the Bermuda Police Service will be able to access the footage to ascertain who removed the stone if an official complaint is made.”

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Comments (81)

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  1. jt says:

    “Stonegate”.,,called it first.

    • Terry says:

      I saw this and replied 3 seconds later.

      But still a good one Jt.

    • Project Fail says:

      One man removed ALL that stone around 5:30am on a Sunday? It took many men and lots of heavy equipment over 7 months to build the concrete wall- AND IT STILL ISN’T DONE! It’s disgusting how long that project has taken. In a much shorter period of time a smaller crew of men near Mosquito Hill in Smiths have almost built from scratch a two story house. What would they have done with the f’n limestone wall anyway? NOTHING!

      That individual probably saved us 20K in wasted BS W&E overtime .If Mr. Brown is a concerned MP then why isn’t he kicking and screaming about how much wasted money was spent here.

      That project is another example of why we need to privatize. 10 men take 7 months to build a wall . One man can remove (or maybe a small crew) removed a longer wall in a few hours!!!!

      WHICH IS THE BIGGER CRIME!

      • Mockingjay says:

        Hey Dipstick if common sense prevails (which is highly unlikely in your case), it is much easier and quicker to dismantle or take apart something then it is to build, create or install with precision and accuracy.
        But I guess your one of the U.B.P./oba chair leaders that is still witch hunting CEDAR BEAMS.

        • Mockingbird says:

          @Mockingjay. Dismantling a wall that size QUICKLY would make sense if they were using a bobcat to destroy, cart away, then dump the stone. However, based on the tone of Mr. Browns concern and the implied theft, one would assume that the wall was broken down CAREFULLY do that it could be reused and reassembled. That can not be done in a matter of hours, my friend. If you think for a minute that that wall , as crooked as it is, was built in a reasonable amount of time and cost, you are the one lacking Common Sense.

          • Mockingjay says:

            The wall was already down and packed up

            • C James says:

              Wow, just imagine trash is picked up and PLP still complaining. Mockgay take a pill.

              • Mockingjay says:

                That was good stone which some of our original houses are built from.
                Probably could cut some slate from them for roofs that are STILL not repaired from the hurricanes.
                Point is it smells like a Rat Gate.
                LMFAO

    • Archie says:

      Or stonedgate?

    • Redman says:

      The PLP are clutching at straws as usual. None of this stone was earmarked to be disassembled and stored, in fact the stone wall was going to be demolished and trashed by W & E in the very near future. Besides to my knowledge W & E had been allowing individuals to remove stone from the site prior to demolition, my company was one allowed to do so for a client. An W & E foreman even showed up when we we’re there just to see what was happening. The only stipulations where that a course of stone would be left in place between the road & that those removing the stone would be sure to clean up any bits that fell on the main road.

      This is probably where Mr. G got the idea to see if he could get some of the stone. However he has certainly jumped the gun and that is unfortunate, he really should have been sure to get permission.

      I personally called the road Highway superintendent/engineer about two weeks prior (a Saturday) as I had seen an individual with a green car removing sections of the wall. He told me that he had already been notified about this just prior to my call and was looking into the matter. I believe he said that an individual had been given permission but he needed to be sure that it was the same person; or words to that effect.

  2. What went wrong says:

    So why is the stone gone?

  3. Coffee says:

    Nothing sets off cedar beams better then Bermuda stone . If you find out where the stone went , I’m certain that the cedar beams won’t be far away.

  4. Terry says:

    Walton = Wall.
    Leave no stone unturned.

    Latest news I have is that it was purchased by someone in Nantucket.

    WallGate.

    Will it ever end?

    • Mockingjay says:

      As long as these Dreamers are in power it will never end.
      Gate Party.

      • C James says:

        Cos things would be so much better under the PLP. We’d all be rich and there would be free beer for everyone. Nobody would have to work cos there’s be free money.

        Dream on Mockgay.

        • Mockingjay says:

          Well one things for sure it would be much more Transparency and a Gateless Community.
          LMFAO

          • It would be another case of, “the blind leading the blind bie’” :-( Sad yes but true.

  5. Alex Madeiros JP says:

    Wow your the MP in this area? I have never ever seen you. I guess you are very selective on the houses you visit.

    Why are you so concerned about stone when we have been complaining for years for someone to fix the issues concerning the park.

    • Project Fail says:

      I agree! There isn’t a park on the North Shore that a resident can take their child to. The Blackwatch Pass park is often filled with drunk men and women. Devonshire Dock has been taken over by grown men that stay there all day drinking, “smoking” gambling and swearing. Spanish Point parking lot isn’t much better as on some days the parking lot is full of men drinking beer.

      • Greenie says:

        What about Government putting in a childrens playground into the Botanical Gardens instead of an industrial maintenance yard. Come on Cannonier where are you and why don’t you care about what happens to your own constituency?

        • Mockingjay says:

          Ok, enough of the diversion, lets deal with the matter at hand, you all &ithced about imaginary Cedar Beams and now a wall has completely vanished in front of our eyes and the best that you can come up with is this BULL S… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Talk about BLIND LOYALTY.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            The cedar beams were not imaginary .

            We know where they came from.
            We know they existed.
            We know they vanished
            We know they are still missing.
            We know that all we got was denial about them.

            Kind of like the unaccounted for $800 mil , eh ?

            Your welcome .

    • Truth Teller says:

      Madeiros,
      Stop with the white Bermudian tea party style comments. This is what I will bet you; that neither you nor your parents have ever voted PLP.

      You see in Bermuda while one can not be sure how most black Bermudians will vote; at least 98 percent of white voters have voted OBA/UBP over the last 50 years and will continue to do so no matter what.

      And my guess is that you are proudly – I might add – one of them.

      • Redman says:

        @ Truth Teller,

        If 98% of white folks didn’t vote for the PLP over last 50 years because they thought that they didn’t have a clue on how to run the Island or that they felt there would be serious financial irregularities, or that they would wreck the local economy and ruin ‘the miracle of the Atlantic’ all I can say is they where right.

        Its a pity that too many Black Bermudians continued to trust them especially after BHC, Berkley… I could go on & on couldn’t I?!

  6. Paul Revere says:

    Not hard to figure out, ask the police to look at the cameras they have on the pole across from C-Mart

    problem solved

  7. Bird says:

    The Bermuda stone was trash. I saw someone a month ago trying to take the wall apart with chisel and mall. He was not very sucsessfull as it was cemented together. If anything the person who took the stone done us a favour. Now we don’t have to pay WE to take the wall down.

    • Paul Revere says:

      just because you consider it trash, doesn’t mean someone can take it without permission. In the real world that’s called stealing

    • mj says:

      birdbrain—bermuda limestone is hard to come by, it certainly isn’t TRASH! to go to so much effort to take it means that it was a treasure, coz someone else would have taken it a long time ago it had been dismantled and there already, maybe minister doesn’t realize the value of the stone to just give it away Allegedly… he who is without sin cast the first stone…

  8. W900Bx3 says:

    he thought it was a cheeseburger..

  9. Happy says:

    prob gone with the 18 million.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      yeah…both probably in the shadow of the $800.000.000…but don’t worry about now that’s history …yessadays news bie go way bie.

  10. tom cooke says:

    Seriously. … this is what you are concerned with….

    • Come Correct says:

      If I was a wolf and I saw a herd of buffalo, I’d choose the wounded, youngest/least experienced buffalo to make a meal of.

    • Mockingjay says:

      At tom cooke, I’ve seen people go court for stealing pampers for their babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Paul Revere says:

      and why not be concerned. All I ever hear and read, is that the former government stole this and stole that, so I guess you ok that a Bermuda Stone wall goes missing, without the proper authorization? I guess as long as you drinking Red Kool Aid its ok to do whatever you want and no-one should question it.
      Damn tricks are for kids

  11. Mojo says:

    Mr. Brown has a history of shooting off his mouth before knowing any facts. But if the Minister of Works did authorize someone to take stone from the site, whether trash stone or not, he should be held accountable. Such an act would demonstrate a complete disregard for good governance and a propensity to abuse power and for this minister that should be the last straw.

    • impressive. says:

      Such a balanced and and rationale comment.. Agree completely.

    • Trulytruly says:

      But W&E has now said that the Minister didn’t authorise the stone being removed. So what do you say now? Do you issue an apology for a rush to judgment?

      • watching says:

        The stone was taken. If no one authorized it then the Minister/PS or DEpartment has a responsibility to report the stone as stolen. Have they done so?

        • serengeti says:

          If the stone was stolen and Walton Brown knows anything about who might have taken it, he has a duty to tell what he knows to the police. He should go to the police and tell them what his “Multiple sources” told him.

          Has he done that? has he been to the police?

          Is he really interested in finding out what happened to the stone, or is he just interested in grandstanding and shooting his mouth off in the media?

          • Ringmaster says:

            You are 100% correct. It doesn’t seem as if either Walton Brown MP or David Burt MP want to actually use the law to protect Government assets. They just want to look important to their people and throw out unsubstantiated rumours. Very convenient that allegedly having had permission from the Minister the stone is removed at 5.30am on a Sunday. I guess some will believe the BS.

            • Zevon says:

              Well, it turns out Brown was mouthing off without knowing the facts.
              Again.
              You tell enough lies to enough stupid people, you gotta hope they believe some of them, eh Walton?

    • Mockingjay says:

      So a Govt. Official complains about a theft of Govt. property and you’re still crying like a baby.

  12. Unbelievable says:

    Um…somebody removed the stone at 5:30 AM on a Sunday?

    Does anyone see the red flag here?

    • Regina says:

      When we find him we hould hire him for W&E – gets to work early, works weekends and gets the job done!!

  13. Unbelievable says:

    Does this even have to said…..?

    Someone removed the stone at 5:30 am on a Sunday. Who removed the stone? Was it someone from W&E? Who was this person? Did anyone ask?

    Come on, Walton. Are you just playing politics and are just trying to embarrass the Govt or do you actually have some information that everyone should know about?

  14. Zaob Yob says:

    The sad thing is that Walton is a very intelligent man, who is quite capable of challenging the OBA on a much higher and relevant level, which could actually help to promote better governance. Stooping to a National Statement based on an innuendo is further evidence of Walton trying desperately to personally appeal to those whom he would otherwise have nothing in common with. This continues to be about the battle for the PLP leadership. The race is between Burt and Brown, with Bean seemingly ‘stonewalled’.

  15. oldsoldier says:

    Political activity 8n Bermuda is a joke and guess what,it is fuelled by us, the constituents who make the comedy show all the more grand!

  16. @ Mockingjay, ‘Hey Dipstick if common sense prevails (which is highly unlikely in your case), it is much easier and quicker to dismantle or take apart something then it is to build, create or install with precision and accuracy’.

    Is this your view on the economy as well? Is that your view on 14 years and 30 months too?

  17. Zevon says:

    So wait…they built a new wall, and took away the old one?
    And, of course, Walton is “concerned”.

  18. Franklin Jr says:

    The mere fact that it’s even plausible that a MINISTER could get directly involved with such a project, and that an MP has time to whine about it proves that we have too many of both! Government bloat starts at the top!

  19. Hmmm says:

    I think the bigger question here is why did the W&E employee go running to Walton and not use the proper channels (or contact the Police if he believed a crime had been committed)….. it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a setup from day one

  20. Ann says:

    I have found “stone gate ” to be humerous, what I don’t find humerous is the fact that we will be hearing about some stupid stone for months, but yet we don’t seem to be bothered about 800 million of unaccounted for funds, some 80 million unpaid taxes, and a civil service that is double the size that it should be. So thanks for the joke Mr. Brown this morning, but please can we start dealing with the things that can change our Country.

    • In the Dark says:

      If you did not write about it Ann, perhaps the discussion would stop. I do however, agree this is a trifling issue, but lets face it, this is the comic strip. Right?

  21. enough says:

    If Mr. Brown’s “Resoures” know someone removed the stone at 5:30am on Sunday then they must know who it is

  22. Y-Gurl says:

    Wow…. This is what Brown has time to focus on..mind you he might do better at the stone investigation of 2015 than some of his other endedevours

  23. C James says:

    Walton has reached desperation point if this is the best he can do. Its not like this was cedar beams. It was Bermuda stone that had been cemented together therefore virtually unusable a second time.

    Pathetic is the only other word that describes this.

    Note for Walton: The sun will be rising in the east tomorrow unfairly shining on Tuckers Town and all those rich people before anyone else.

    Better get a press realease together to complain about this injustice!

  24. Ladeej says:

    This situation is not humorous!! There has been a theft of public property allegedly by someone who is “independently wealthy” and can afford to buy his own stone! He needs to be outed and to return the property asap.

  25. Paul Revere says:

    and why not be concerned. All I ever hear and read, is that the former government stole this and stole that, so I guess you ok that a Bermuda Stone wall goes missing, without the proper authorization? I guess as long as you drinking Red Kool Aid its ok to do whatever you want and no-one should question it.
    Damn tricks are for kids

  26. Ringmaster says:

    Are the laws quoted by David Burt something new? If not why haven’t they been applied for many of the other alleged thefts of Government property that have been disclosed in the media over the last 15 years?

  27. Southampton #29 says:

    @Ann stealing is stealing no matter what you take!

    • I agree, “a horse by any colour is still a horse” which bring to mind, “PAC-GATE”

  28. more than enough says:

    time for craig to hit the gate… tired of this guy and his f up’s!

  29. ImJustSayin says:

    Who gives a crap about some bloody stone wall or cedar beams there are more important things to worry about. Big deal. OMG!!

  30. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    it was probably cheaper to let him take it away at his own expense compared to having to pay W/E to dismantle, transport and storage of the re-usable limestone blocks…it was gone in a couple of hours…how long would it have taken W/E…time=money, work it out.

    i wanna know who all these resources are that provided Mr. Brown with this most vital information…hey Walton, it’s on a need to know basis…so if you didn’t know…then i guess you didn’t need to know.

  31. I certainly hope there isn’t any sh– with this :-( Why give the Opposition grounds to criticize you on Minister Craig Cannonier / O.B.A ?
    “Minister Cannonier must immediately confirm if permission was given by the Permanent Secretary for the Bermuda Stone to be removed. If permission was not given, Minister Cannonier must confirm that this matter has been referred to the Bermuda Police Service in accordance with Government’s Financial Instructions.”

  32. stunned... says:

    this is a pathetic attempt to discredit Minsister Cannonier. given that Min. Cannonier experienced one of life’s humiliating events, and then received a second chance to redeem himself, no right thinking person would believe he would jeopardise his return with something as silly as to authorize someone to remove the stone on a Saturday without the proper course of action.

    some things are lower than a snake’s belly…