Michael Misick

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Michael Misick
Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands
In office
9 August 2006 – 23 March 2009
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Galmo Williams[1]
Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands
In office
15 August 2003 – 9 August 2006
Preceded by Derek Hugh Taylor
Succeeded by Office ceased to exist
Personal details
Born Michael Eugene Misick
(1966-02-02) 2 February 1966 (age 51)
Bottle Creek, North Caicos
Political party Progressive National Party
Spouse(s) LisaRaye McCoy
(m. 2006; div. 2008)
Education University of Buckingham
Nickname(s) Iron Mike
Your brother's keeper
The Man of the People

Michael Eugene Misick (/ˈmɪzɪk/; born 2 February 1966) is the former chief minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands from 15 August 2003 to 9 August 2006 and was the first Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands from 9 August 2006 to 23 March 2009. Misick is a member of the liberal Progressive National Party (PNP), and became chief minister when his party, after eight years as the opposition party, gained two parliamentary seats in by-elections. In addition to being premier, he was also the minister for Civil Aviation, Commerce and Development, Planning, District Administration, Broadcasting Commission, Tourist Board, Turks and Caicos Investment Agency, and Tourism. Several other members of Misick's family have been politicians in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and important leaders in the PNP. Washington Misick, his brother, is a former Chief Minister and currently Minister of Finance, following elections in November 2012, in which the PNP returned to power.

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Biography[edit]

Born in Bottle Creek, North Caicos, Misick is the last child of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Misick. He received his foundation education in North Caicos, and then furthered it at the Turks and Caicos High School (Helena Jones Robinson High School), the Miami Lakes Technical Institute (where he graduated with a certificate in Business Studies), and the University of Buckingham (LLB, Hons. Bachelor of Law). Misick is a Barrister at Law of England and Wales and an Attorney at Law of Turks and Caicos Islands. He is a member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.[2]

Misick spent several years in the private sector where he was sales manager for Prestigious Properties Ltd. from 1984 to 1986 and managing director from 1986 to 1988. From 1988 to 1991 he was chairman and CEO of Paramount Group of Companies, a property and financial services company. Misick was first elected to the Legislative Council in 1991, when he became Minister of Tourism, Transportation and Communications. He was re-elected in 1995. In March 2002 he was elected leader of the then opposition PNP thus succeeding Washington Misick. In the April 2003 general elections, Misick's party won 6 out of the possible 13 seats in the legislature. The successful petitioning and winning of by-elections held in two constituencies resulted in Misick being sworn in as Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands on 16 August 2003.[3]

In April 2006, Premier Michael Misick married American actress and fashion designer, LisaRaye McCoy; it is reported that the Misicks are divorced. A statement released on 12 August 2008 to the press by Premier Misick stated: "I am announcing that I am separated from LisaRaye McCoy, I am committed to dissolving the marriage amicably. I believe that this is a private matter and will have no further comments. I hope that our privacy will be respected.”[4] On 7 January 2007, Misick called for general elections on 9 February. The PNP won 13 of the 15 seats, making it one of the most lopsided election results in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Corruption allegations[edit]

In 2008, a Foreign Affairs Select Committee of British Members of Parliament conducting a routine review of the administration in British Overseas Territories received several reports of high-level official corruption in the Turks and Caicos.[5] Their report charged that Misick, "who is alleged to have built up a multi-million dollar fortune since he was elected in 2003 when he declared assets of only $50,000 (£25,000)," enriched himself and fellow ministers "by selling off Crown land to fund current investment."[5] In response, the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands Richard Tauwhare announced the appointment of a Commission of Enquiry into corruption on 10 July 2008.[6]

Rape allegation[edit]

Misick was accused of raping an American woman on 28 March 2007.[7] The claim against Misick failed, and the woman subsequently brought proceedings against her employers in Florida.[8]

Resignation[edit]

On 15 December 2008 Misick was asked to step down by nine members of his party. Misick, who has denied any wrongdoing, resigned on 23 March 2009 after an investigation found "clear signs of corruption" in Turks and Caicos. The UK Foreign Office said it would suspend the constitution and give control to Governor Gordon Wetherell.[9] The departure of the premier occurred a week earlier than expected.[10][11][12] While the investigations were underway, Governor Gordon Wetherell suspended self-government in the islands on 16 August 2009.[13]

In June 2011 Misick's assets were frozen by a court order.[14] In September 2010 a report from the Turks and Caicos Islands 2008-9 Commission of Inquiry recommended criminal investigation of Misick of possible corruption and abuse of his former position.[15]

Arrest and trial[edit]

On 7 December 2012, Michael Misick was arrested at Santos Dumont Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after being located by Interpol. He was arrested while trying to leave for Sao Paulo.[16][17] The arrest warrant was issued by Minister Ricardo Lewandowski of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil on 22 November, at the request of the government of the United Kingdom.[18]

He was returned to Turks and Caicos on 7 January 2014 where he was questioned at the capital's police headquarters. He was briefly remanded at Her Majesty’s Prison Grand Turk before being released on bail on 13 January 2014 ahead of his trial. He was charged with conspiracy to receive bribes, conspiracy to defraud the government and money laundering.[19] His much-delayed trial began on 18 January 2016, and was still on-going a year later.[20][21]

Political comeback[edit]

In December 2016 Michael Misick stood as an at-large candidate in the general elections in Turks & Caicos as an independent.[22] However he received only 5.57% of the vote and was not elected.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Turks and Caicos premier sworn in Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 23 March 2009, Jamaica-Gleaner daily newspaper
  2. ^ "Former Premiers: Former Head of Government, Honorable Michael Eugene Misick, Premier". Radio Turks & Caicos. 10 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "About Michael Misick". TheRichest.com. 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Taking Names". The Washington Times. 2008-08-18. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  5. ^ a b Nick Meo. "Turks and Caicos: MPs criticise 'climate of fear' on luxury holiday islands." The Telegraph. 6 July 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  6. ^ "Turks and Caicos governor appoints Commission of Enquiry" Caribbean Net News. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  7. ^ Elfrink, Tim (12 May 2011). "Nikki Beach exec and Turks & Caicos leader accused in rape scandal". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Premier rape claim woman sues Nikki Beach". Turks & Caicos Weekly News. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Dutta, Kunal (4 March 2009). "Turks and Caicos PM quits after corruption inquiry". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. 
  10. ^ TCI Premier Resigns, The Bahama Journal, published and accessed 24 March 2009.
  11. ^ "Turks and Caicos PM resigns early". BBC News. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  12. ^ "Turks and Caicos PM quits amid corruption probe". Macau Daily Times. 25 March 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. 
  13. ^ Barrington-binns, Susan (19 October 2009). "Turks and Caicos Islands: Report On The Partial Suspension Of The Constitution Of The Turks And Caicos Islands". Mondaq. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. 
  14. ^ Boyce, Hayden (4 July 2011). "Mike Misick's Assets Frozen World-Wide". www.suntci.com. Turks and Caicos Sun. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2011. The assets of Michael Misick, the former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, have been frozen world-wide. 
  15. ^ "Commission report recommends eleven criminal investigations of Michael Misick". www.tcinewsnow.com. TCI News Now!. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Turks and Caicos ex-premier arrested". Financial Times. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Missing Turks and Caicos ex-premier arrested in Brazil for corruption". Fox News. Associated Press. 7 December 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. 
  18. ^ Martins, Felipe (7 December 2012). "Ex-premiê de ilhas caribenhas, foragido internacional é preso no Rio de Janeiro". Universo Online (UOL). Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Former Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick Released on Bail". Atlanta Black Star. 16 January 2014. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. , republished from the Jamaica Observer.
  20. ^ "SIPT prosecutor cutting back about 68 witnesses". Turks & Caicos Sun. 30 January 2017. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. 
  21. ^ Boyce, Hayden (6 February 2017). "Mike Misick's Lead Lawyer Resigns from Corruption Trial". Turks & Caicos Sun. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. 
  22. ^ "A former premier on trial for corruption seeks to make a comeback". The Economist. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  23. ^ "Turks & Caicos election centre 2016". Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
Preceded by
Derek Hugh Taylor
Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands
2003–2006
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
New position
Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands
2006–2009
Succeeded by
Galmo Williams