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Sep 4, 2017

Who to Believe? A.G. Says Padron’s Job on the Line

Michael Peyrefitte

While the Attorney General has very little to work with in order to investigate the nature of the reported transaction, he also says that it does not appear to be a conflict of interest for Padron, who at the time worked in the Lands Department and who Andre Vega has claimed is a family friend, to sign the document in her capacity as a Justice of the Peace.


Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“The transaction, on the face of it, doesn’t look wrong.  If there is more information out there please bring the information, but as we stand what we have is a transfer.  The JP is saying that that person came and transferred it to that individual.  As far as I know, when it comes to land transfers the recipient of the land doesn’t have to, I mean, to be present, I mean that’s not an issue.  Mr. Vega, I don’t think, is challenging the fact that it was transferred to him, but Ms. Forte was saying she did not transfer it to him.  So what we have is, we need the information from Ms. Forte and she’s not forthcoming, so what can we do at this point?  I know it’s unfortunate for the Vegas that everywhere their name comes up people will suspect based on what we have been hearing in the news.  But as it pertains to this transaction and the Justice of the Peace, I have nothing to counter what the Justice of the Peace is saying.”


Isani Cayetano

“Might it not be some sort of a conflict, my understanding being that Ms. Padron was, as a public officer, a former employee under the Ministry of Natural Resources at the time when this document was signed and stamped, in her capacity also as a Justice of the Peace.  So you have a public officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources who is signing off on a document in her capacity as a Justice of the Peace.  Does this not constitute a conflict of interest or something of that sort?”


Michael Peyrefitte

“Well it doesn’t necessarily have to be, unless you can show that the Ministry of Natural Resources directed Ms. Padron to sign that document in the absence of the person who is signing it.  Many government offices have JPs present there and if we didn’t have JPs present there the public would say, “How unu noh got JP ya?”  So you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.  So that part does not concern me.  What concerns me is, every Justice of the Peace must ensure that they’re acting according to the code of ethics and the law prescribed to them.  If Ms. Forte was not present when Ms. Padron said she was, then Ms. Padron would be in trouble.  Serious trouble.”

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