Butler-Turner pays up


Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Sidney Collie confirmed yesterday that financing for the party’s convention this week is substantially in place.

In an interview with The Nassau Guardian, Collie said that Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner paid her $50,000 balance sometime last week.

“She has paid in full,” Collie said.

However, Collie was unable to pinpoint specifically when the payment was made.

“I got a report from the treasurer that she made the direct deposit,“ Collie said. “I think it might have been by bank transfer to our account.

“But I am not able to say exactly when she paid. We had a finance meeting on Thursday.

“I think she paid on Friday. I am not 100 percent sure but I think that’s when she made her full payment.

“So she has paid her $100,000 just like Dr. [Hubert] Minnis.”

Minnis, the current leader, and Butler-Turner, who is running for leader, agreed to pay $100,000 each to help fund the party’s convention which was estimated to cost $350,000.

As part of the agreement, the party’s finance committee agreed to provide the remaining $150,000.

However, up to Thursday afternoon, Senator Dr. Duane Sands, who is running for deputy leader, confirmed that Butler-Turner had only paid $50,000.

The reason for that, according to Sands, was Butler-Turner took issue with transparency and accountability issues relating to the convention.

Sands said the remaining funds were being held in escrow until those concerns were addressed.

It is still unclear what those concerns were.

According to Collie, the finance committee also made a significant contribution last week, bringing the party just a few steps closer to meeting the $350,000 target.

“They paid $50,000 first and they presented a check of approximately $89,000,” he said. “Out of the total $150,000 that the party was supposed to pay up, $50,000 and $89,000 have been paid.”

Collie said he will give an update on the convention tomorrow.

“It will be my final update and at that time I hope to have pretty much accurate information,” he said.

The party’s convention starts on Wednesday at Melia resort.

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