"I am not bipolar and I have not lost my mind. However, I have accepted my fate."
So said Anthony Pierre, who resigned on Saturday as chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) after the board of directors said he had acted without its approval when he issued letters of comfort to two tenants whose leases from the CDA had been deemed illegal.
The CDA is the landlord for over 14,700 acres of prime real estate in the northwestern peninsula, which stretches from William's Bay to the five islands, off the coast of Teteron Bay.
The two tenants were Fouraime Enterprises Ltd and Starburst Parks Ltd. Businessmen John Aboud, Richard Smith and Joseph Rahael are the directors of Fouraime while Dr Sree Venu Potluri is listed as the manager of Starburst.
Pierre said he was guided by legal advice.
Yesterday, Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis under whose purview CDA falls confirmed that its board has since rescinded the letters of the two tenants.
Robinson-Regis said Pierre issued the letters without the board's authority.
"No one has said that Mr Pierre acted illegally. He acted outside of his remit. Those (letters) should have been discussed with the board first."
She also could not say who would replace Pierre.
"These things happen and when things happen and they have not gone through all the processes, there are consequences. I think Mr Pierre understands that."
Robinson-Regis made it clear she had no intention of seeking dialogue with the two tenants.
"I think I should not intervene at this point. Really speaking, the intervention will take place by the sub-committee of Cabinet that the Prime Minister appointed."
Told that Pierre said he wrote the letters based on the tenants' advanced stage of construction, Robinson-Regis said even if Pierre felt that way, he still needed the board's and her validation.
Robinson-Regis said she knew nothing about the letters "until about a week ago," which came as a big shock to her.
Last month, following a tour of several areas in Chaguaramas, two of which were the Five Islands Water and Fun Park and the Chaguaramas Safari Adventure, Robinson-Regis admitted that it was difficult to halt work on some of the private projects that had been undertaken in Chaguaramas.
"There is no way we can tell the amusement park people to break down their structure. That makes no sense. So really speaking, the park is located in an area where according to the law, it should not be," Robinson-Regis had told reporters following the tour with Pierre and a technical team.
Pierre had also disclosed that the CDA was also re-examining 44 leases given out under the People's Partnership administration.
"A number of those (leases) were entered into the week leading up to the 2015 general election. A lot of those leases were dated September 4 and 5. Even the day before the election, which was September 6, which was a Sunday... those leases were dated. The leases were finalised on those days," Pierre said.
Hours after the tour, several tenants wrote the CDA seeking clarification on their projects as their bankers had raised it as a matter of concern.
Pierre in a telephone interview yesterday said based on Robinson-Regis' comments that the CDA could not demolish the structures which were in an advanced stage of construction, he felt obligated to provide letters of comfort to the two tenants.
In defending his position, Pierre said the letters stated that "at this time the CDA is not minded to terminate the leases, which is a statement of fact and which is a statement that the minister made, in that, she would not ask the developers to break down their structures based on the amount of money they had spent.
"So if you have a line minister saying all of that, then, you as a chairman being asked to produce a letter to provide these people with a level of comfort while things are being sorted out."
Pierre said he believed he did everything above board.
"Absolutely. There is no question about it. I will not do anything that is considered illegal or wrong. It is, what it is. I have accepted my fate. Nor have I done anything to be ashamed of.
"My children can still walk the streets knowing what their dad is. I am happy and very comfortable with the decision I have taken. I am not perturbed by the way things have turned out," he added.
Pierre felt he served the CDA with distinction.
He would now resume his responsibilities as a chartered accountant.
Asked if he left CDA with a sour taste in his mouth, Pierre said no.
"The way I approach life I have no regrets of anything because I believe things happen to bring about adjustments in the way things are. I take things in stride and roll with the punches," he said.
In addition, Pierre said when he assumed office, CDA was faced with a lot of organisational and issues involving tenants that needed to be resolved.
He said there were leases that had not been renewed from the 1980s and 1990s.
"Boards on both sides of political divide came in and did not attend to them," he said.
'Leases may be illegal'
?Robinson-Regis said seeing a number of structures were in an advanced stage of construction on the northwestern peninsula, many of the leases had not been approved by Cabinet, which was the process by which it would have been granted.
"In addition to that, it was not in keeping with the CDA's 1974 approved plan. Let me also state that there is a report by Senior Counsel Elton Prescott that stated quite clearly that these leases may be deemed illegal because they did not follow the process.
"Because some of the tenants had started construction and had gone some way there... may have been some challenge to rescinding the leases," she added.
With regards to the EOI, Robinson-Regis said no decision had been taken for the construction of a hotel.