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Feb 11, 2015

Mayor Audit – Schakron say’s not so! Bradley says so!

Yolanda Schakron

One point three million dollars paid in legal and professional fees – that’s the claim in an audit done of the Belize City Council for the period 2013 to 2014. But while it’s spelled out clearly in the audit, Mayor Darrell Bradley says that it’s wrong. He claims that one point two million dollars of a total of one point three million was actually paid to a sanitation company for a court judgment, and so there’s absolutely no truth to allegations that the council paid that much in legal fees. That’s his story, but the P.U.P. doesn’t believe it, not for a second. Today Yolanda Schakron called out the Mayor, saying that as far as she’s concerned, legal fees are legal fees, and his explanation doesn’t wash.

 

Yolanda Schakron, P.U.P. Mayoral Candidate, Belize City

“I heard his reply but I am not buying into that because legal fees are legal fees. And we will be having a press conference on that; we will call the media in. Noh because Darrell says soh, dah soh yo know. Remember he said Pier One dah mi wah restaurant; don’t forget that. And he keeps changing the story about how this money, the legal fees, has been spent. I think he has given us three different stories so we can’t take weh he say dah soh. We are looking through that audit very carefully. I am writing a letter and I will be sending it to him; you will all get a copy of it.”

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Incumbent U.D.P. Mayor, Belize City

“The chart of accounts in terms of that section of the audit lists certain specific things. In that section of the audit, there is no line item for court judgments. So that because this was a payment which is something that is standard that’s done through attorneys, it goes from the City Council to the then City Council’s attorney to Waste Control’s attorney to Waste Control. That’s itemized as a bill that went to attorney’s fees and professional fees, but I produced the actual details in terms of showing how all that line item was expended and it details exactly…it was three payments that was paid through our attorney to Waste Control; it lists the specific quantity of that. And for them to criticise it, I mean take it what you will. I am speaking on a record of honesty and transparency and if they are saying something contrary to that, I will put that as election hogwash. But I know that Darrell Bradley is a Christian first of all and I know that I am a principal person and I know that I will not respond to anything that is libellous and downright false.”

 

Schakron has also written to Mayor Bradley about the financial statements raising a number of pointed questions. The P.U.P. mayoral candidate is seeking disclosure of the expenses and invoices that add up to the one point three million dollars.  Similarly, it is asking for the listing of cemented streets, contracts under the twenty million bond, names of companies that got the contracts and the accounting for a reported forty million dollars provided to City Hall in the past two years by Central Government. The P.U.P. is also querying a discrepancy detected in salaries and remuneration paid to the Mayor and Councillors in 2013 and 2014. Specifically, there is an amount of four hundred and twenty nine thousand dollars which is not referenced in the audit and in addition why is it that salaries went from two hundred thousand in 2013 to almost one million in 2014 in the Finance Department.

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