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Feb 28, 2013

Mayor Bradley hauled to court for contempt

Fred Lumor

The Belize City Council often sends reminder to citizens to pay their taxes or face the court. In a reversal of fortune, the Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley had the unenvious task of being hauled before the court over a debt incurred by the City years before he became mayor. Belize Waste Control (B.W.C.) was the primary provider of garbage collection services for many years, but during one period, the city had hired other companies and neglected to pay B.W.C. in excess of one million dollars. That is why the company made an application for committal for Mayor Bradley to be held in contempt for the unpaid debt. The matter went into arbitration and in June, 2005 an award was made.   B.W.C., dissatisfied with the award, applied to the Supreme Court to set it aside. B.W.C. eventually agreed to terms but no money has ever been paid. The series of litigation continued in Supreme Court this morning and the attorney for B.W.C., Fred Lumor explained his client’s frustration.

 

Fred Lumor, Attorney for Belize Waste Control

“We applied to the Supreme Court and the award of arbitrators was entered as a judgment of the Supreme Court. City Council applied to the Supreme Court that they should pay the death weekly in the sum of ten thousand dollars; this was in the year 2009. At this time, the lawyer for City Council was the present mayor, Darrell Bradley. Not a cent was paid. So in 2011, we applied to the Supreme Court that the refusal of municipal authority to pay a debt ordered by the Supreme Court contravenes the constitutional right of Belize Waste Control. The court, in a decision delivered on the second of April last year, 2012, agreed that the failure to pay contravenes the rights of Belize Waste Control and ordered City Council to pay the debt forthwith; this was on the second of April 2012. Not one cent has been paid. We wrote to the City Council in May of last year; we wrote to them in June of last year; we wrote to them in July of last year [and] no payment was made. So we applied for contempt proceedings or committal proceeding against the mayor of the Belize City Council. The case was called up on the thirteenth of December last year. And each accession the case is called up, they ask for postponement to enable them make arrangements to pay this money to Belize Waste Control. As of today, I can tell you that the total debt owed under the judgment is about two point three million dollars; not one cent has been paid. Today, the judge called the lawyers into chambers and the City Council has given undertaking that they will file an affidavit about the financial position of the council and make some substantial payment and seek to make arrangement to settle the balance on terms to be proposed to the court. So the matter has been adjourned to the twenty-second of April to give the council sufficient time to resolve this matter by then. So this is what transpired this morning.”

 

Adele Ramos

“Has any information been offered as to why no funds have been paid to your client?”

 

Fred Lumor

“They said they are serious, they want to pay, but not one single explanation has been given why not even ten dollars has been paid under this judgment and interest continues to accrue on it on a daily basis.”

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4 Responses for “Mayor Bradley hauled to court for contempt”

  1. Storm says:

    So the Mayor is a deadbeat — the shine is coming off him in big chunks. He pays millions for new projects, but won’t pay for services already rendered. That’s how deadbeats live.

    I think it would be a good lesson for BWC to apply to the court to seize the nice new vehicles the deadbeat mayor and councilors all drive. That would be a good start on getting the debt paid.

  2. a Jew says:

    All the street projects in Belize City are not paid by Mayor Bradley, those are from Bonds! So this is money owed. When time to repay the bondholders hopefully Mayor Bradley and his team can pay. Bad publicity for the mayor, like everyone else pay up lawyer Bradley.

  3. Initiate says:

    The deal was a sweet heart contract, that is why the Mayor is dragging his feet. BWC still needs to ‘earn’ that money.

  4. Seletar says:

    Actually, the mayor was spending millions repaving BEFORE the bonds were approved or issued, so that money WAS diverted from other parts of the city budget.

    The really big issue is this: every dollar he spends is public money, so let’s see the books, let’s see the contracts. It’s especially worrisome because already many of the repaved streets are crumbling, even though they promised they would last 40 years before needing to be repaved.

    Is it incompetence or corruption? I don’t think there is any other choice.

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