The departure of Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Jefferson Miller now appears imminent, a day after Barbados TODAY broke the story of his conviction for grand theft in the United States.
Today Miller could not be reached for comment, neither could the BCA president Joel Garner, who is out of the island until Sunday. But informed sources said that following a meeting with acting president Deighton Smith, second vice-president Wendell Kellman and board member Tim Boyce, which took place at the Marriott Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church, the BCA boss had formally handed over the keys to his company car and was preparing to part ways with his $10 000 monthly job.
Sources also said that following his interview with Barbados TODAY yesterday in which he admitted to the US conviction, Miller had met with other BCA officials last night ahead of tonight’s Guardian General appreciation function for the Barbados Under-17 cricket team.
However, when contacted, Kellman, who is also chairman of the association’s Human Resources Committee, was tightlipped on the legal imbroglio that has thrown an ominous black cloud over the BCA’s operations.
“The only thing I can tell you at this time is that the board is dealing with the matter and I cannot say anything until that has been completed.”
Pressed to say whether Miller had tendered his resignation as CEO, Kellman said: “I will rather not say anything on Miller’s resignation until the board is ready to make a full statement.”
He also could not say exactly when the board’s statement would be made, although he said that the board would meet on the matter soon.
“I cannot say how long it will take, but it depends on where the investigations will take us,” he added.
Former BCA board member Gregory Nicholls was much more forthright on the issue. Reacting to the Barbados TODAY story on his Facebook page, he suggested that there was more to the current BCA saga.
Nicholls also stated emphatically that “no due diligence was done before the CEO was hired” and that Miller was “not originally short-listed for the first round of interviews [for the island’s top cricket administrative position] but was shooed in via a Skype interview and thrown to the top of the list”.
Another former member of the board, who asked not to be identified, is putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the members of the BCA board. In fact, he said “the development is symptomatic of the failure of the BCA’s leadership,” noting that this was not the first time that controversy has surrounded the post of CEO of the association.
The former cricket official also raised the issue of due diligence while calling on the board to explain whether or not such was requested on Miller.
“The board has done nothing, they have not asked the gentleman to confirm whether these charges are in fact correct. So there is a crisis of confidence that one should have in this leadership of the BCA to continue at the helm of Barbados’ cricket.”
A month before he assumed the top post Miller appeared before a Miami Dade County Court on four charges of mortgage fraud, fraudulent use of ID, grand theft in the second degree and uttering forged instruments.
However, he was only convicted on the grand theft charge and is currently on 12 years probation which began on July 25, 2014 and is scheduled to end on July 25, 2026.
As the news circulated today both within and outside the cricket fraternity, a Barbados TODAY team visited the BCA headquarters at Kensington Oval but was not permitted to enter the compound.
However, there was no stopping the active discussion on this newspaper’s Facebook page where the BCA also came in for heavy criticism over its handling of the matter.
“While we never want to wish for someone to lose their job, given the nature of his conviction, it is probably in the best interest of BCA to ask him to resign. The person that vetted and was supposed to have done the due diligence on candidates also needs to answer some questions, “ said Chris Hassell.
Diana Cadogan described the situation as embarrassing, adding “he should resign”.
However, Chris Kinkaid suggested we were making a “mountain out of a molehill to stir silly emotions”.
“Had it been as serious as being implied, would have certain charges been thrown out and probation on others?” he asked.
However, Dean Scantlebury said: “If he goes back to the USA, he will be arrested and jailed for violation of probation.”
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