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Feb 28, 2018

Misused or Just Used? Kirk Lamb and Minister Boots Face Off

Between July of 2016 and October of 2017, when he was terminated, the first of several regular payments by journal voucher, for eight thousand two hundred dollars, was deposited to the Saint John’s Credit Union account of Kirk Lamb, only to be withdrawn days later.  The pattern became similar: deposits every month, sometimes every week or two weeks, and withdrawals from hours to a week or two later in a pattern of ripping off the government for the construction of housing and housing repairs. Today, Martinez contended he had nothing to do with them, and that Lamb is on record as a contractor under the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project in addition to his caretaker work and it was for that he was being paid. But Lamb says he gave the money to Martinez. So where is it? News Five’s Aaron Humes reports.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

What motivates Kirk Lamb, the former employee of Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez who appeared on this station on Tuesday night to make bombshell claims against his former boss? Is it exposing the apparent manipulation of his closest supporters for personal financial gain, or perhaps something more? Lamb says that after many years in Government, Martinez is treated and carries himself like a God.

 

Aaron Humes

“Mr. Martinez did not approach you to do this: he just assumed your name and decided to put these monies into your account for his own purposes?”

 

Kirk Lamb

Kirk Lamb, Former Employee

“Cause he feels like he is God; he [acts] like an arrogant man. So I’m just asking for justice.”

 

Aaron Humes

“At what point did you first learn of these transactions?”

 

Kirk Lamb

“When it start to go into my account and I go collect it and deposit at the bank for Housing for the Poor.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So it’s in connection with Housing for the Poor?”

 

Kirk Lamb

“That’s right, sir.”

 

Aaron Humes

“And when you collected this money and gave it to him, you didn’t have occasion to question him about ‘wait, is this something that I should be doing?’ or is it something you felt you shouldn’t question?”

 

Kirk Lamb

“Sir, well at that time, I can’t question the boss, because that is the boss, first thing; that is the boss. And if I question him, I might lose my job, you understand me?”

 

Aaron Humes

“But you lost your job anyway, so…”

 

Kirk Lamb

“I lost my job any way you take it, sir.”

 

Lamb was terminated, despite Martinez agreeing to forgo prosecution on criminal charges, for removing and selling a burglar bar from his property on the George Price Highway near the roundabout. Today his former boss told News Five that Lamb’s dealings as a contractor were with the Ministry of Works under the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project after he, Martinez, left that portfolio, and that other than initially recommending him, they had no contact.

 

Aaron Humes

“What would have led Mr. Lamb to even think that you would ask him to return the money he legally earned, as you said, to you?”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Former Minister of Works

“But not only legally earned; if you wah return money to me like what you are saying, you won’t be able to fulfill your contract, because the contract is for materials and labour; so the contract is not just for labour; the contract is for material and labour.”

 

Aaron Humes

“So all this suggestion that he is not really a contractor and that you manipulated him or whatever the case may be…”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“Put it this way: they have photographs of Mr. Lamb signing contracts in Belmopan; the Ministry of Works has photographs of Mr. Lamb signing contracts around the conference table in Belmopan. The Ministry of Works has history of all contractors; it is public information. So I think that there is nothing to hide. They have Mr. Lamb’s Social Security card, his signature, the approval from Contractor General; everything [is] there. It is just, in my view, mere political mischief. How will you come – this thing happened in October.  October, November, December, January, February – one week before election he makes these allegations?”

 

Timing aside, where is the money – as much as two hundred thousand dollars seemingly missing by our count? Neither ex-employee nor ex-employer ventured any thoughts on that score. But Martinez told us Lamb’s termination was for cause and so he has limited legal recourse. Constituent though he may be, the Minister says he owes him nothing.

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“In my view, he is being used. For example sake, it has to be he is being used. Again, the story – yesterday he did that interview – said nothing about the reason why he was let go; just that I fling him out into the cold. Then, if you want to be truthful and say that you deh with me, over twenty-four years you were working with me, then they have other recourse. Why you noh go dah Labour [Department]? Why you no get wah attorney? You no think things is due to you? But he knows, under the circumstances of which he was terminated, there is no compensation due to him.”

 

That will not be music to Lamb’s ears.

 

Kirk Lamb

“All the service weh I put in with him, to be contractor, I feel hurt because my name was out there spreading, Kirk Lamb, was spreading in the news. And if the policeman dehn come and pick up me, I could go to jail for that. And I noh have nothing fi show fi all dehn money weh I collect, sir; I gave it to Mr. Boots.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Martinez conceded that Lamb had a reputation for doing his work well and on time. He also noted that Lamb previously owned a house and land in Belize City but had apparently sold it.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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