More than a year after he was formally charged, a former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment(RBR) pleaded guilty to official corruption.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley, 55, appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday (July 14), where admitted that he asked the late Justin William, a well known lawyer, for a nomination to join the Order of St John in exchange for firearms and/or a position at the RBR.
The court also heard that Curley offered to use his top position in the RBR to appoint Mr Williams as the Regiment’s legal adviser in exchange for the nomination between January 1, 2015 and December 23, 2015.
Two additional charges that the former CO for allegedly corruptly receiving benefits as a result of the exchange and a separate benefit, will remain on file. But two other charges were dropped.
Lawyer Mark Pettingill, who appeared on Curley’s behalf told the court that the guns were “inert” and for display purposes only.
Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe adjourned the case until September 1, when a sentencing date will be set.
He also ordered a social inquiry report and extended the defendant’s bail.
Curley was appointed commanding officer of the RBR in 2016 and was replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Beasley in October 2020.
Meanwhile, in a statement released yesterday, Governor Rena Lalgie said she was aware of the guilty plea.
“I will be consulting with the Chair of the Defence Board and the current Commanding Officer as to next steps,” she said.
“I remain confident that this individual’s actions are not reflective of the values and standards of those who serve and does not diminish the pride that we rightly have in our Regiment.”
Curley was charged with corruption alongside Gareath Adderley, the former Commissioner of St John Ambulance, and Christopher Clarke, a former police inspector, last February.
Neither Mr Adderley or Mr Clarke have entered a plea and their case will be heard again in the Supreme Court on August 1.
Mr Williams was also named in the charges but was in the US at the time and did not receive the indictment. He died a month later of kidney failure and Covid-19.
Top Feature Photo: Former RBR CO Lt Col David Curley chats to Port Antonio youngsters as the band performs in the bandstand at the Errol Flynn Marina