FNM govt paid judge’s hubby $500K to represent Bridge Authority
The former Minnis Administration paid FNM attorney and former Bahamas Power and Light board member Feron Bethel $500,000 to represent the Bridge Authority in a lawsuit filed by fired General Manager Melissa Hall.
Bethel, who is a staunch Free National Movement supporter, is the husband of Court of Appeal Justice Carolita Bethel.
In 2018, Hall sued the Bridge Authority after the Minnis administration fired her with three months’ pay in lieu of notice.
Then-Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, Desmond Bannister, who was the minister responsible for the Bridge Authority, and Authority Chairman Greg Bonaby gave instructions to pay Bethel half a million dollars to represent the government entity in the case, that dragged on from 2018 to November 2021.
The judge in the case was Bannister’s former law partner Ruth Bowe-Darville, who was appointed to the Supreme Court bench by the FNM government just five days before she reached retirement age.
Bowe-Darville said Hall was “delusional” to think she was entitled to damages and costs she sought from the government for abruptly ending her employment but the government had no problem shelling out $500,000 to Bethel to act as its attorney.
Bethel, who was appointed Queens Counsel under the former government, was the only BPL board member to be reappointed when Bannister dismissed the entire BPL board under a cloud of suspicion in 2018.
Minnis promised to make public a probe of the board’s dismissal but never did despite receiving the report in November 2020.