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Mar 29, 2012

City Hall unravels overtime mystery

Shirlene Sabal

Among his first duties as mayor, upon taking office three weeks ago Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been carrying out an official inquiry into the embezzlement of almost seventy thousand dollars from City Hall.  It was an elaborate scheme orchestrated by former pay mistress Shirlene Sabal, one in which payments for bogus overtime hours were being collected unbeknownst to the employees they were fraudulently being made out to.  The pilfering of CitCo funds dates back to 2010 and a recently released audit report indicates that the scam was executed over the period of a year and a half, before it came to light.  In the wake of the scandal Sabal has lost her job, a parcel of land, as well as her vehicles; all properties she forfeited in order to repay City Hall.  According to Mayor Bradley, a new chief internal auditor has been hired to oversee the accounting of monies within the department to ensure that recurrences do not occur during his tenure.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We had commissioned an audit report and it was released to us on Friday and we took a decision to dismiss Ms. Sabal.  We’re also looking into the recollection of these funds.  We’ve identified and met with her on two occasions and she’s identified a proposal in terms of repayment.  We took possession of certain properties that she owns, two vehicles and then a piece of land and we‘re also dealing with the repayment in terms of ensuring that we’re collecting the full amount that was misappropriated which comes to sixty odd thousand dollars.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Darrell Bradley

“You’re relatively new to City Hall at this point.  Are there any other instances that you’ve uncovered so far in terms of either misappropriation or mismanagement of funds at the City Hall?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“No, I mean the audit that we did was something that was done internally but it was comprehensive and it looked at ensuring that no other person at City Hall was involved in this particular incident.  And I’m satisfied at this point that no persons, others, were involved and we’re also taking remedial action.  I spoke this morning with someone who will come onboard as our chief internal auditor, somebody who is very qualified and their reputation for integrity is stellar and we’re also looking at securing somebody who will serve as our new director of financial services.  I’ve indicated before that we’re working with an independent auditing firm, Castillo, Sanchez & Burrell.  The thing is that yes we have to deal with these allegations of impropriety, well now they are no longer allegations, they have been confirmed but we want to ensure that we do the systemic things that put in place controls to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”

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5 Responses for “City Hall unravels overtime mystery”

  1. Rod says:

    Under this gov. It will never stop lone thief thief thief these people have their master degree now in thief.

  2. Biggs says:

    What u think about under the previous administration — It was worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mr. Mayor —– have a question for you.

    What is your position on the UNIBAM issue? Do you support it?????

  3. Santa Elena Resident says:

    Very interesting question. Would like to hear the Mayor’s views on this issue for real!

  4. Albert says:

    WHAT A PITY. MR. DARREL WILL YOU ALSO LOOK INTO THE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PREVIOUS MAYOR ZENAIDA MOYA STOLE FROM THE CITIZENS? I AM SURE YOU WILL NOT!!!! HYPOCRITE!

  5. Skywalker says:

    @ Biggs… What on earth does the Mayor have to do with the UNIBAM issue? Let’s try to keep things relevant.

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