Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)
Thursday, May 8, 2014
All the King's Men - Part 1 - Derrick Dalley
All the King's Men is a new series on stories involving public officials, public dollars, and electoral donations. This story involves Derrick Dalley, the MHA for The Isles of Notre Dame, the current Minister of Natural Resources, and, back in 2011, the Minister of Business.
Dalley was a marginal MHA in the Williams' government between 2007-2010. He barely won his seat in 2007, and the worry in 2010 was that he wouldn't win it in 2011. So, on January 13, 2011 he was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Business. He also sat on the Public Accounts Committee from 2009 on.
It was during this time that a little known company, Eastern Star Group Canada Ltd, was making its way through the environmental approval process to establish a shell fish plant in Dalley's district - which was approved on December 22, 2010. And, less than two weeks after Dalley became the Minister for Business, the government approved a $500,000.00 loan to Eastern Star Group to create the business. The press release is here http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/fishaq/0126n06.htm
Dalley had this to say:
"This project is exciting for a number of reasons," said the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Business. "The processing facility is being established in rural Newfoundland which will result in new employment and other spinoff benefits for the local economy.."
What Dalley didn't say is that the project approval was great personal news for him - especially the potential spin off benefits. You see, less than 9 months after Dalley personally approved the loan to Eastern Star Group, he was apparently rewarded with some hefty political contribution for his re-election campaign by the folks from Eastern Star Group. The company itself gave Dalley $3,500.00 in reelection donations. One of the principles of Eastern Star Group, Phillip Davis, Head of the Biochemistry Department at Memorial Univerisity, and Vice-President at Eastern Star Group, donated another $3,500.00 to Dalley's reelection fund. Finally, as much as I can tell, one Rhonda White, a biology technician at MUN gave another $3,000.00 to Dalley's election fund. That's a total of $9,500.00 in political donations made directly to Dalley's campaign after he personally approved a $500,000.00 loan to the company from the taxpayers. None of the donors gave money before or after to the PC Party, or Derrick Dalley - it was a large, one-off donation.
In case that doesn't get your blood boiling, there is always the rest of the story.. After Dalley lent the taxpayer's money to Eastern Star Group the company folded and the taxpayers lost all their money.In a strange twist to the story, found after doing a bit of research, it seems we weren't really getting the whole truth on eastern Star Group to start with. The hint comes in its official name: Eastern Star Group Canada Ltd. Yes, the emphasis being on the word "Canada". You see, the Chinese gentleman that was fronting Eastern Star Group in Newfoundland, Hettinger Chang, also had an operation going on in the states called Eastern Star Group Plc, which was also known simply as "The Eastern Star Group" on their:
or on their Facebook site
or simply on their Zoominfo site
The fact is Mr. Chang's US business just didn't seem to exist legally in the US. There is no record of his company on any exchanges or ever being registered as a corporation in the State of New York. In fact, even the phone number given for his company in the states was fake, and actually belongs to a New York architect firm that has had it, as the lady said, "for decades". Its one claim to fame appears to be exporting a bit of coffee from Mexico to Russia in 2011 before it disappears from sight. In other words, it appears that not much due diligence was done by Minister Dalley, or his department, on Mr. Chang before the money was handed over.
Still can't believe it? Check out the registered office of Eastern Star Group Canada Inc in St. John's:
Bottom line in all this is that it stinks. It stinks bad. And Derrick Dalley, the current Minister of Natural Resources, responsible for billions upon billions of dollars in project and decisions, is up to his elbows in it. I ask myself, how does a minister explain taking personal political donations for his reelection fund from a company that he personally approved a $500,000.00 loan for on behalf of taxpayers? How is it that these three people gave a total of $9,500.00 once, and once only, in the same year they received that loan? The obvious question is: was this a reward for Dalley bringing in the dollars for the company? If it was it would be illegal. Ask yourself why a technologist from MUN who lives in St. John's, a professor in St. John's who also acts as a VP, and a company that had to borrow money from us to live, make a one-time election donation to an MHA who lives in Twillingate? This is another case where an RCMP investigation should shed some light. Dalley, just another of the King's men.
Here are some links to stories surrounding this company: