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Feb 9, 2015

CitCo Spends $1.3Million on Legal Fees

The People’s United Party launched its manifesto over the weekend…we’ll have that story coming up. But at the event, we caught up with successful businesswoman and aspiring Mayor Yolanda Schakron. Schakron also has some queries for her opponent in the upcoming Municipal Elections, and it has to do with one point three million dollars paid out in legal fees by the Belize City Council between 2013 and 2014. It’s listed in an audit report posted on the Council’s website, a tiny little notation on page nineteen where the expenditures of the Mayor’s Office are highlighted. We knew what we were looking for and still had trouble finding it. So why is the Council paying so much in legal fees in only one year? And who’s collecting? Well, that’s the one point three million dollar question.

 

Yolanda Schakron

Yolanda Schakron, Mayoral Candidate, People’s United Party

“We have found, and residents of Belize has been questioning the audit…there’s a lot of questions that the Mayor I believe should answer to the residents of Belize City. I know he went on TV and he said that we are trying to give him a bad name, but what we are asking the Mayor…yes he said that they paid legal fees to another attorney…so what our question is – I think the residents of Belize City deserve to know what cases and which lawyers got one point three million dollars? He says that he has done pro bono work, but one point three million dollars is a lot of legal fees. I mean, I have paid lawyers before and one point three million…I can’t imagine what the legal fees would have been if he hadn’t done some pro bono work for the city. So we have more questions, we want to know, we want him to come to us and show us…I think we deserve to know. One point three million dollars could have gone into a lot of things in this city. We just want to know. We are not telling him that he took it. But just show us who are the lawyers and which cases.”

 

Late last week Mayor Darrell Bradley told the media that he has never been paid for any legal representation he has done for the Council. He did say, though, that the Council has paid legal fees to Young’s Law firm and attorney Trecia Pitts. The Council’s legal fees paid in 2014 almost tripled what was spent in 2013.

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2 Responses for “CitCo Spends $1.3Million on Legal Fees”

  1. Natty Dread says:

    Is Michael Young not Darrel’s boss? Is there an incestuous relationship between Darrel Bradley and his boss resulting in the award of these juicy fees? Is this the reason why Darrel is a part-time mayor? Where is the breakdown of cases, monies paid out, when paid out, who authorized payments etc.? Is there any referral commission collected under the table? Mr. Barrow and Michael Young are closer than batty and chamber pot; did the P.M. know and approve these outrageous legal fees?

  2. jake says:

    Here is what the mayor says:
    “That was the judgment is 1.2 million dollars that we paid Waste Control. Actually the breakdown that I gave you showed that that was paid over the last year in 3 installments and we also had to pay $50,000 to their attorney because of course this is matter which they have won and to the victor goes their cost, so we were liable to their cost when we had to agree on a settlement. Remember, they had written off one million dollars because the judgment was 2.2 million. We had negotiated with them, we have written off one million dollars. We agreed at 1.2 million dollars and then on top of that we had to pay their attorney $50,000. I want to be very clear. I don’t want to mince any words, absolutely none of that money goes to Darrell Bradley for any legal work that Darrel Bradley has even done for the City Council. I am Mayor and I believe that if I am Mayor, the city gets to benefit every skill that I have. The matters that I’ve gone to court for, are only Waste Control and one of the reasons I did that was because part of it involved me myself, because they has committal proceedings, because these judgments were outstanding for some time.”

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