Nassau| Despite mounting pressure from factions of the Free National Movement (FNM) to give up his seat in Parliament, Long Island MP Adrian Gibson has told his inner circle he will not resign unless he is convicted of corruption charges.
While Gibson views resigning as an admission of guilt, some of his FNM colleagues see his refusal to step aside as arrogant and selfish as revelations bound to come out during his trial could hurt the FNM, whose last two election campaigns have focused on anti-corruption.
His high-profile arraignment has left some constituents on Long Island disgusted. They are concerned their embattled MP will bring disrepute to the close-knit community and he will be too busy fighting corruption charges in court to give Long Island residents the representation they need.
They were surprised, and in some cases ashamed, when he showed up in the House of Assembly days after being charged.
While some senior FNM members have publicly stood in support of the controversial former Water and Sewerage chairman, they are secretly plotting for the Long Island nomination in the unlikely event Gibson bows to internal pressure to resign and a by-election is called.
Dr. Duane Sands, who lost his Elizabeth seat to PLP candidate JoBeth Coleby-Davis in the 2021 General Election, is planning to use his influence as FNM chairman, to receive a nomination for Long Island – long considered a safe FNM seat.
Gibson, an attorney, was arraigned in the Magistrates Court this week on 56 counts of money laundering, receiving, bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and making a false declaration.
Prosecutors allege he pocketed $1.2 million from the award of WSC contracts during his time as executive chairman.
Gibson allegedly used the illegally acquired money to buy property in affluent communities and a number of vehicles, which were seized by police.