Categorized | National News

Lawyer Seeks to Strip Louis Bacon of Environmental Award

A high-powered American Attorney William Murphy Jr. has made a request for the National Audubon Society to strip Chief Executive Officer of Moore Capital Management Louis Bacon of an environmental award he received in 2013.

Mr. Murphy made this request in a letter to the Audubon Society last month on behalf of his client Vivian Whylly, a 53-year-old Bahamian of African descent with ancestral ties to Whylly Plantation at Clifton.

Mr. Whylly is requesting that Mr. Bacon, who is also a hedge fund tycoon, be stripped of the Audubon Medal because it is his belief that the award was given based on false information.

The Audubon Society cited that Mr. Bacon was given the award because of his leadership of a successful campaign to preserve Clifton Point in The Bahamas, while protecting 208 acres of land for the benefit and use of Bahamians, paving the way for the creation of the Clifton Heritage Park.

However, Mr. Whylly told Mr. Murphy that Mr. Bacon did not lead the effort to save Clifton Point.

“He (Mr. Bacon) was nowhere to be found when the effort began and was never in any kind of leadership position afterward,” Murphy said, claiming that his client has first-hand knowledge of the effort.

He added that it was Mr. Whylly and a handful of other local activists who spearheaded the 1999 movement to turn the plantation into a heritage park instead of allowing it to be developed into a gated community.

Mr. Whylly claims that remarks made at the Audubon gala highlighting that Mr. Bacon “single-handedly” led the effort are untrue and a no doubt inadvertent insult to everyone who worked so hard over so many years to preserve the historic site.

In addition, Mr. Whylly claims that Mr. Bacon “is intent on preventing the development of Clifton Heritage National Park so that views from his home in the exclusive and almost white gated community of Lyford Cay, across Clifton Bay, can remain unspoiled and free from the sight of black Bahamians enjoying the amenities of the park, including Jaws Beach, one of the last public beaches in The Bahamas yet to be closed off by developments such as Lyford Cay.”

As a result, Mr. Whylly is accusing Mr. Bacon of being racist.

However, Mr. Murphy said it was widely reported that when Mr. Bacon received the Audubon Society’s award, he cited the indisputably racist book ‘Gone with the Wind’ as his holy book.
“Mr. Whylly and many of his fellow Bahamians recoiled in horror when they learned of these remarks,” Mr. Murphy added.

Mr. Whylly believes that it is paradoxical that Mr. Bacon is now attacking the park he claims to have helped create and is using his Save The Bays environmental group, the powers within the Lyford Cay Property Owners Association and his influence with the park’s board to impede the site’s use by tens of thousands of Bahamians who are intended as its main beneficiaries.

Mr. Murphy added that fishing and boating have been restricted, along with the park’s hours.

“According to Mr. Whylly, before the Labour Day holiday this year, sand was piled up on the access road by Lyford Cay homeowners to prevent the use of Jaws Beach,” Murphy said.

“Mr. Whylly notes that in 2013, Mr. Bacon’s Save the Bays filed an injunction that stopped reconstruction of the docks destroyed by hurricanes at Jaws Beach, where Bahamians for decades have moored their fishing boats. The dock is still out of service, imperilling livelihoods.”

As a result of Mr. Bacon’s actions, Mr. Whylly is now in the process of mounting a nation-wide campaign to support his effort to have Mr. Bacon’s Audubon Medal revoked.

The drive to strip Mr. Bacon of his medal comes on the heels of his nasty dispute with Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard over neighbouring properties they own in The Bahamas.

Mr. Bacon opposed Mr. Nygard’s plans to rebuild his estate in their gated Bahamas community, Lyford Cay, following a 2009 fire. Mr. Bacon has said the work could harm the environment.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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