‘I am asking for the politicians or whoever got input with CIDB to put a halt until I can get some family or friends to come up with the amount.”
Raymond Scott, Cayman Brac
(CMR) Talk show host, Sandy Hill, is calling on the Anti-Corruption Commission to launch an investigation into Premier O'Connor-Conolly's interference in a government foreclosure in Cayman Brac. Allegations are that this is an abuse of her discretionary powers, runs afoul of the requirements needed to trigger compulsory land acquisition, and is only being driven by political nepotism.
The bank has been instructed that there would be compulsory acquisition of land in Cayman Brac by the Cayman Islands Government. The Office of the Solicitor General indicated that the block of land is needed for the expansion of the West End Cemetery, the expansion of the West End Public Beach Park, and a future location for social housing.
The property was under a foreclosure sale, but now eyebrows have been raised after it was revealed that Premier Juliana O'Connor-Conolly had instructed the Solicitor General to stop the sale from proceeding.
Property owner Raymond Scott defaulted on the property and is said to have never properly serviced the Cayman Islands Development Bank (CIDB) loan.
He had previously reached out to various members of the PACT administration. However, they had shared with CMR back in October that they were not prepared to interfere with the bank's operations as they thought it was legally improper to do so. Scott took his pleas to the airwaves back on October 10, 2023, where he stated that he expected the MPs to assist him.
The property had gone into foreclosure, and the bank was demanding the full amount along with the interest. A listener to the program shared that he used a piece of land as collateral to get a loan for $75,000 in 2017 and eventually built a house on the land “but never made one single payment.” They went on to share that it was their opinion that he created this situation on his own.
When pressed about how he owed he admitted that the loan amount was significant, but he was not aware of the amount. Talk show host Sandy Hill informed him that she heard it was in the range of CI$120,000 in arrears, and he agreed, “that sounded about right.” However, additional sources have since revealed that the amount is well over $200,000 and possibly $300,000.
Scott said that he was facing “perilous times” and because he had contributed so much to the community and this was the worst thing that has ever happened to him in his life. The property housed his “communication equipment” and his home. He reflected that he wasn't even sure when the last payment was made.
CMR understands that the property was under contract and funds had been paid in full into an escrow account. It was revealed to CMR exclusivity that the bank has since informed the purchaser that the contract for sale would be withdrawn because of correspondence received from the Solicitor General's Office. The letter read in part:
At the time of his radio plea for help, Sandy Hill said confidently:
“I am telling you that there is no politician in Cayman that is going to step in and interfere. They could probably get themselves in trouble for even doing so.”
This declaration has now raised questions about the legality of the decision as Hill encouraged the purchaser to seek a judicial review of this decision. One caller on Thursday's program noted that this was an abuse of discretion to compulsorily acquire the land, likely an improper motive to do so.
It remains to be seen how the government acquiring the land to place a cemetery and social housing on it would assist Scott in any way. Questions have arisen about who will be responsible for the defunct loan and if the government actually intends to pay Scott for his family land and remove him from it.
There has been no indication of when these projects would begin as they have never been discussed previously.
Scott was involved in a near-fatal collision in October 2020, where a female pedestrian was mowed down while trying to cross the street. He has been accused of refusing to sell other property to remove this one out of foreclosure. Sources revealed that a caution has been placed on his properties so that the victim can obtain compensation for her injuries and extensive medical bills.