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Nov 9, 2016

Speaker of the House Gets Name Cleared from Auditor General’s Report

Dorothy Bradley

Two weeks ago, Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte brought suit against Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and Attorney General Vanessa Retreage. He complained that his name was wrongly published in the Auditor General’s Special Audit on Passports at the Immigration and Nationality Department.  Peyrefitte maintains that he did nothing wrong when as a Member of Parliament, he recommended a passport for William Lindo.  He unsuccessfully wrote Bradley seeking a retraction of his name from the document.  But the two sides pursued settlement out of court to correct the error, and today at the start of her appearance at the Senate hearing, Bradley formally clarified and corrected the error. The Speaker issued his response to reporters shortly after.

 

Dorothy Bradley, Auditor General

“Among the list of individuals named in Table ZK is Mister Michael Peyrefitte, as Speaker of the House, who signed the application of William Alden Lindo on May thirtieth, 2013, as a Three-B recommender. Regulation 7 (1) of the Passport Regulations, 2012, allows members of the House to sign recommendations for Belize passports. Under Section 56 (1) of the Belize Constitution, the House of Representatives shall consist of thirty-one members, who shall be elected in the manner provided by law. Mister Peyrefitte is not an elected member of the House of Representatives. However, it has been brought to my attention that Section 56 (2) of the Constitution provides that if any person who is not a member of the House of Representatives is elected to be Speaker of the House, he shall, by virtue of holding the office of Speaker, be a member of the House in addition to the thirty-one members aforesaid. It is clear that Mister Peyrefitte’s name should not have been included in the list of names in Table ZK, and was done so in error. Any inconvenience caused to Mister Peyrefitte is regretted. Save and except for that error, I stand by my report.”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House

“Indeed it’s what I’ve been asking for from the very beginning, and to hear her say it here today and to have it form part of the record as the Chairman said, it exonerates me from what is in the report; and all I ever wanted was for my name to be cleared, because I didn’t do anything that I was not supposed to do.”

 

Peyrefitte was not pursuing damages in his lawsuit. He told us that in the event the lawsuit proceeded and he won, costs would be paid by the Government, and by extension, the taxpayer, which is now avoided.

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