Hugh E. Darley ready to file lawsuit against VI Gov’t
Mr Darley said his company IDEA Inc. is seeking to recoup monies allegedly owed for designs and drawings used in the construction of the pier project.
“[We] will pursue full $2 million dollar value of our work,” Mr Darley told Virgin Islands News Online on February 12, 2017.
In February 2016, Mr Darley stated that he had retained legal counsel in the Virgin Islands, but also that the law firm which his company IDEA Inc. had previously retained backed out of the arrangement citing the fear that it could lose future Government work.
“We had to change firms because one firm felt like the matter was too toxic and they did not want to have a conflict in the future as they had business with the Government,” Mr Darley told Virgin Islands News Online in an exclusive interview on February 3, 2016.
However, Mr Darley had said he would be revealing the name of the firm when it is safe to do so. On February 12, 2017 Mr Darley still did not disclose the name of his attorney.
“Our attorney has asked not to be named,” Mr Darley stated, although one local news site has stated that Queen's Counsel, John Carrington, QC is Mr Darley’s attorney.
The lawsuit is expected to be filed in two to three months.
Darley had sought amicable resolution
Darley had previously said he never intended to have a battle with the Government of the Virgin Islands in the media and had hoped the matter was resolved amicably. “We would like to reach a resolution that is good for both parties and we will try to meet with the Premier and see if we would resolve this amicably between the two parties.”
There has since been no resolve to the matter. “[We] will pursue [lawsuit] as BVIPA would not honour their arbitration clause in their contract,” Mr Darley stated.
Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) as well as Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith had denied that the former Project Coordinator of the Cruise Pier Development Project, Mr Darley, was owed any monies; however, Mr Darley said in February last year that he had documentation to counterbalance that.
“I do have a lot more documentation. I have probably about 2,000 pages regarding estimates and costs. I don’t want to go that far and go through all of that but we have estimates down to every square foot. Someone unfortunately is just giving the Minister some bad information, speaking about cost per square foot and us building some buildings on the sand. Well that was never the case,” he had said.
The $83M Cruise Pier Development Project had also received criticism from Mr Darley, who said the people of the Virgin Islands were not given value for money. He had said his company would have delivered the project for $40-50M.
According to Darley, if the BVI Ports Authority had built tens of millions of projects in the past then maybe they would have had the expertise needed to build the cruise pier development project. “They didn’t [have that expertise] and the contractors are like sharks as they can smell blood in the water,” he had stated in February 2016.
Premier Smith had also ordered an audit into the Cruise Pier Development Project to put to rest many of what he called rumours; however, the results are yet to be disclosed. Apart from that, Premier Smith was criticised for his move to have the Government "investigate itself."