?Former executive chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) John Calder Hart is back. Thirty five days after Hart resigned and fled the country, he quietly returned on American Airlines flight 1819 around 9.40 pm last night. He was in the company of fired Udecott chairman, Krishna Bahadoorsingh. The duo boarded the flight from Miami International Airport around 6.15 pm. Hart has since been replaced by Housing Development Corporation Managing Director Jearlean John. Hart served on the Udecott board from 1994 and became its chairman in 2002. Hart was eventually appointed as executive chairman in 2006. It was on March 5, that Hart was given 24 hours to resign after Prime Minister Patrick Manning met with Attorney General John Jeremie who informed him that Hart may have a case to answer, arising out of the Commission of Enquiry. His resignation came days after a series of documents were revealed allegedly linking his wife, Malaysian-born Sherrine Hart and a company which was awarded an $820 million contract by the Udecott board.
Hart also stepped down from four State boards–the National Insurance Board, T&T Mortgage Finance Company, The National Insurance Property Development Ltd and the Home Mortgage Bank. He left T&T in the company of his wife and young daughter. Citizens had been expressing concerns that he would not return to T&T. Only last week the Uff Report stated that Hart was wielding more power than some politicians. Also, Jeremie announced on April 6, that the Report would be referred to Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard. Chairman of the Enquiry, John Uff, recommended that the police probe Hart in relation to the award of the $368 million Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower and the $885 million controversial Brian Lara Stadium project in Tarouba.
In addition, Uff also recommended an audit of the conduct of all Udecott senior staff and directors for the period 2004 to 2009. The board, chaired by Bahadoorsingh, and including Anthony Cherry, Wendell Dottin and Michael Annisette was fired with immediate effect on April 6. A new board was to be reconstituted within two weeks. Last night upon his arrival at Piarco, a passenger on the same flight told the Sunday Guardian that Hart and Bahadoorsingh, who are no longer public officials, did not pass through the normal channels of Immigration and Customs. They were reportedly whisked away to the VIP section with the help of an official in the Customs Department. The passenger, a businessman who spoke to the Sunday Guardian, questioned why he as a law abiding citizen was not afforded the same treatment.