United Workers Party (UWP) candidate for Grand Fond, Dr. Thompson Fontaine, has indicated that he is willing to make his bank statements available on condition that prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, does the same.
He was responding to a challenge by Skerrit in the wake of a controversy surrounding the transfer of funds, by Fontaine, from an account of the Dominica Academy of Arts and Science (DAAS) to his personal account. The transaction took place while he served as treasurer of DAAS.
“Thomson need to provide to us his bank statements during that period, provide to us the certificates, the CDs (Certificate of Deposit) that he said he placed the money in,” Skerrit said on Kairi’s Next Level program on the weekend.
Fontaine said he is willing to do so.
“At this point and in the interest of full disclosure I am prepared to make my bank account statement available to the public on the condition that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit makes available to the public copies of his off shore bank accounts statements,” Fontaine told DNO in a statement on Tuesday. “These accounts were all opened after he became Prime Minister, and the public has a right to know the sources of funds currently deposited in those accounts.”
According to Fontaine the matter was resolved and put to rest by DAAS some five years ago. “At the time I chose to resign voluntarily but at no time was any concern voiced by the DAAS Board over my suitability to serve as Treasurer,” he said. “In fact, less than two years later, I resumed my service to the organization in the capacity as acting DAAS Treasurer.”
The former IMF economist said he hopes the prime minister, “will have no difficulty in making these records available to the general public even as I do the same with my private bank account statements.”
Dr. Clayton Shillingford, who was president of DAAS at the time Fontaine was treasurer, had already declared on radio that no funds were misappropriated during his tenure at the organization’s helm.
“Let me declare first of all that there was no misappropriation of funds from the DAAS while I was president,” Shillingford stated.
He described the transactions by Fontaine as an ‘error in judgement.’
Fontaine himself has admitted that it was an error in judgement explaining that he had placed the funds in Certificates of Deposit in his name in order to obtain higher interest rates for DAAS.