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Apr 10, 2018

Mea Culpa; Mayor Bernard Wagner Admits that Signing Checks to Himself was Wrong

It has been a rough month since Mayor Bernard Wagner assumed office at City Hall following the March seventh municipals after over a  decade of U.D.P. rule.  He is still settling into his new post as head of the Belize City Council, but tonight he finds himself in a pickle.  Mayor Wagner has come under fire and intense public scrutiny since endorsing a pair of checks totaling five hundred dollars, monies which were used to assist needy residents.  Despite his good intentions, the process through which the payments were endorsed, cashed and disbursed has been called into question.  Not only did the mayor receive the monies upon cashing the cheques, he personally distributed the funds to the individuals, who had gone to him seeking help.  That act of goodwill, however, flies in the face of existing procedures on how to provide social assistance to the poor.  Mayor Wagner admits that the manner in which he went about providing the financial help was not proper.  He also says that the staff, with whom he shares a seemingly hostile work relationship, was late in providing suitable guidelines established under the social assistance programme.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“There does exist a social assistance program at the council where we do try to help the most needy of our residents in this city and in respect, secondly, I want to say that at no point in time, contrary to what the news has disclosed, that I signed two checks.  Essentially what happened there is that two checks were issued to me, I endorsed the checks obviously because it was issued to me.  I was then given the cash which is for the twenty-eighth of March and I believe the fourth of April, two checks totaling five hundred dollars to serve as a fund to assist people.  On those given days I tried to see some of the people that are residents of the city.  People come here for all types of services, some of them would come in here to request jobs.  They would want to know about their property taxes, trade license, but of course, within those meetings you would discover people who have basic needs.  I need a five dollars, I need a ten dollars, I have not ate for the day.  And I think that as a caring council, as a caring mayor, disbursing ten dollars, fifteen dollars to the most neediest people in the city, I feel comforted transacting that type of business.  Clearly, the way it was perceived to have been done, I did it essentially on the fact of my good integrity.  Clearly that did not rub good with some people.  They want more than just my integrity, they want to ensure that we have checks and balances in place so that we are kept in check and clearly I have no issue with that.  I respect that position.”

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1 Response for “Mea Culpa; Mayor Bernard Wagner Admits that Signing Checks to Himself was Wrong”

  1. carlos says:

    This happens when you have people around you working against you instead of assisting to do the good and honorable work. Find an accountant that you can trust.

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