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May 3, 2018

Candice Miller Back to City Hall But Will She Keep Her Job?

Candice Miller was back at City Hall this afternoon, attorney Magalie Perdomo in tow. She spent upwards of a few hours in what appeared to be a closed-door session with the City Council caucus. Neither side appears to be speaking tonight as of news time, ahead of Miller’s suspension being lifted as of early next week. For her part, Miller has filed suit against the council, protesting her suspension for breach of fiduciary duty. During her suspension, the council led by Mayor Bernard Wagner laid out charges at a press conference ranging from overspending on fuel to presiding over a culture of “heavy-handedness” in spending decisions, backstopped by an extended contract. But citing the court case and their own processes, they have not addressed, at least not publicly, how they will deal with the city’s most powerful public servant.

 

Candice Miller

Isani Cayetano

“In light of the findings of this particular audit, what bearing, if any, does the line item, if I may, which refers to the payment being made to Mr. Franklin on the eighth of March?  It would seem apparent that this, for some reason, is a departure or dereliction of one’s fiduciary duty.  What bearing, if any, would this have on the city administrator, on the post that she has, and the fact that she is currently on suspension?”

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor [File: April 26th, 2018]

“Again, that matter with the city administrator is still under review and we don’t want to prejudice any situation that might arise in respect to that.  But we want to stay focused on the findings without prejudicing our eventual meeting with the administrator. What we found, and we continue again, is that the department increased expenditure with no positive results.  No results at all.  There was a culture of incurring expenditure with no commensurate results, and I go again.  Public relations, this is the PR Department for the council.  Parks and playgrounds together spent four hundred and spent four hundred and six thousand in 2014, six hundred and eighty thousand in 2015, five hundred and eighty-four thousand in 2016 and eight hundred and one thousand in 2017.  Just a continuous, continuous spiral upwards.  Upwards, upwards.  Is this the way we run our business?  Is this the way you would, as a C.E.O., say to the person in charge to task to run your business, I will grant you an extension contract for four more years because you have ran our business in a proper way.  We are pleased with the way you have ran our business, so we will reward you.  We will reward you with a four-year contract.  That is the message that was sent.”

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