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Shanendon running for FNM Deputy amid Parks and Beaches scandal

St. Barnabas MP Shanendon Cartwright will contest the Free National Movement Deputy Leadership position amid scandal over his tenure at the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority.

Cartwright is the second FNM MP to publicly express an interest in the senior position.

St. Anne’s MP Adrian White also plans to nominate to become FNM Leader Michael Pintard’s right hand man.

The questionable award of contracts at Public Parks and Beaches led former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to ask his successor Philip “Brave” Davis to launch an investigation into Parks and Beaches operations while Cartwright served as executive chairman from 2017 and 2021.

Contracts have since been put on hold and an audit was conducted.

According to the audit, the Authority consistently went over its budget by millions of dollars between 2019 and 2021.

“This operational review revealed a combination of material weaknesses and significant deficiencies that created an environment to facilitate such overruns,” according to K. Christie and Co. Chartered Accountants, which conducted the audit.

“Some contracts were signed and dated by the Authority ahead of the vendor/witness signing,” according to the document which was released in December.

It added, “Some contracts were missing from the PDF files given to us to review. Duplicate contracts were reassigned without management approval. Generally, the document was signed by the inspector and vendor”.

Cartwright has declared his innocence but his former boss Minnis seems to think all was not well at the Authority.

If the FNM had won had the September 16 General Election, Minnis had intended to remove the novice politician as Authority chairman but he did not want to make his suspicions public given the FNM’s political rhetoric on corruption.

The FNM will hold another convention this month to elect senior party officials including deputy leader and chairman.

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