NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Police arrested and charged former Public Hospitals Authority Chairman Frank Smith with assisting Barbara Hanna in getting a cleaning contract for the hospital nearly six months before verifying if a contract even existed, the court heard Tuesday.
According to lead investigator Sergeant Uel Johnson, he received a contract from complainant Barbara Hanna that was supposedly an agreement between her cleaning company, Magic Touch, and the PHA for a cleaning contract. Johnson said, however, that he never verified if the contract was real until nearly 6 months later in January, 2018, after Smith had already been charged and the trial had already begun.
Johnson admitted that Smith was charged with bribery and assisting Hanna with getting a contract based solely on the word of Hanna and the unverified contract she provided to police.
Sergeant Johnson made his statements while being cross examined by Smith’s lead attorney Keith Knight, QC.
Johnson’s testimony also revealed that the contract for Magic Touch was awarded to Barbara Hanna months before she claims she met with Smith to discuss the alleged $5,000 payments.
Hanna alleged that Smith promised her the cleaning contract if she paid him $5,000 a month, when they met in March or April of 2016. However, according to documents provided by the PHA, a resolution was made in December 2015 to award Hanna the contract, which she received in February, two months after she said Smith attempted to bribe her.
Knight also questioned Johnson about the call logs, which were set aside because of inconsistencies in the Smith billing records and the call logs provided by the Bahamas Telecommunications Company, which was turned over to police.
Johnson said it was “interesting” that the call logs were different and denied he manipulated the evidence while it was in his custody. In fact, he said if something was wrong it happened after he turned the evidence over or he suggested something may have been wrong with the computer.
The trial continues today when Sergeant Johnson will retake the stand.
The crown is being represented by Edward Jenkins, QC.
The case is being heard before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.