New Bridge Authority Chief afraid to expose ex-schoolmate
New Bridge Authority Chairman Basil Longley is facing mounting pressure from colleagues to expose the questionable practices of his predecessor Greg Bonaby.
However, sources tell the Gallery that Longley is fighting to protect former chairman Bonaby, who is his former schoolmate.
This irksome position by Longley, who was appointed chairman of the Board by Minister of Works Alfred Sears in December of last year, has angered Bridge Authority employees who witnessed Bonaby’s shameless abuse of power for the four years he served as Chair under the Minnis Administration.
Longley’s decision to sweep the slack practices of the former Board under the rug is also enraging members of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) who were labeled as corrupt and were subjected to political prosecutions under the former Free National Movement (FNM) government.
Upon taking office in September 2021, PLPs were eager to give the FNM a taste of its own medicine by highlighting the former government’s hypocrisy and abuses of power.
However, Longley has chosen loyalty to his longtime friend over his loyalty to country by failing to report to Bahamian taxpayers on how their hard earned money has been mismanaged under Greg Bonaby’s watch.
According to Authority sources, Bonaby used his position to order a truck, valued at $128,000, on the company’s dime then sell it to himself for a meager $7,000.
He convinced his Deputy Chairman Brad McPhee to sign off on the sale of the Bridge Authority’s truck to him in April 2020.
These questionable acts were reported to then-Works Minister Desmond Bannister who failed to hold Bonaby accountable due to his close friendship with then-Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
While on sick leave, Bonaby also went around his acting chairman and issued a nearly $19,000 contract to a company owned by his friend to perform an assessment already conducted by the Ministry of Works for free, according to documents obtained by the Gallery.
Upon Bonaby’s instruction, Countrywide Builders and Developers manager Johnny Outten sent a fee proposal to Bridge Authority General Manager Tony Smith on December 2, 2020 for structural assessment services related to the Paradise Island bridges.
The company submitted a quote of $18,592 and requested $9,296 up front and the remaining $9,296 upon completion of assessment services.
However, the same services were provided by the Ministry of Works at no charge in March of last year.