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Mar 22, 2012

City Council investigates possible misappropriation

Darrell Bradley

City Hall has had its fair share of controversies over the past decade. Two previous mayors have been questioned about financial transactions that did not have wise business sense or were carried out using irregular accounting practices. To make sure that his term as Mayor is beyond reproach, Darrell Bradley says he immediately launched an investigation into an alleged scheme that has cost the council thousands of dollars.

 

Darrell Bradley, Mayor, Belize City

“When I became the first day on the job, the eighth of March, I was briefed with a situation involving one of our pay mistresses. And the situation is that she was involved in misappropriation of funds involving other employees and then also involving the staff loan program and over time. After I was fully briefed with the situation, we immediately took a decision to suspend her. She’s currently still on suspension and we are waiting a formal report which will indicate to us the extent to which this activity went on, the value of money involved and over what period of time. And we intend to have that report by Friday and we will make a decision on what we will do with this particular staff. There are several issues involved. There is the issue of dealing with her employment at city hall and then we are looking into possible criminal charges against her to ensure that we make a strong statement that any kind of irregularity at city hall—even at the highest level—will not be tolerated. And then the third issue is to see how we can recover any of funds because this is public funds and I think we owe residents of Belize City a duty to see how aggressively we can go after her to recover some of the funds.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“These alleged incidents, are there other people suspected of being involved in them?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“At this present moment it is only her and she was the person who was in charge of the payroll and so because a lot of trust was placed in her over that function, she was able to do this for several months undetected. Several people had suspected her of being involved in a scheme as what occurred. And immediately when I took office, they briefed me about the situation and we took action immediately.”

 

Bradley told News Five that by Friday, the results of the investigation should be complete and the employee is expected to be terminated by the end of the business day.

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