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Jul 23, 2009

CitCo Financial Advisor is latest accused of wrongdoing

Story PictureTwo weeks ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow revealed that arrests would be made at City Hall for financial improprieties. Mayor Zenaida Moya Flowers countered the PM saying City Hall was in fact using a system called “under-depositing”. Well, no arrests have been made in that case, but the man who blew the whistle, Patrick Tillett, is now being accused of making decisions that are costing the Council more than the monies in question. The letter dated July eighth was written to the PM-appointed Financial Regulator, Tillett, and signed by the Council’s City Administrator, Dr. Kiran Vanjani. In it, Vanjani reveals that Tillett has been making unauthorized decisions. One flagrant move Tillett made was the purchase of a dump truck from Rodla Construction for some thirty-four thousand dollars – a decision that was reportedly made without the knowledge and consent of the Council. But add to that, Vanjani also points to records that show the Council has had to pay thousands of dollars more in repairs because the truck is deemed worthless. Vanjani also accuses Tillett of unilaterally reversing the Council’s decision to discontinue the 2007 tax collection arrangement and implement a new one in April of this year. This, according to Vanjani, has cost the Council thousands in commission. We’ll have more on this story in Friday’s newscast.

And today in Belmopan, News Five engaged the PM on the investigations into twenty-four thousand dollars unaccounted for at City Hall. According to the PM, the D.P.P. was occupied with a murder trial in Dangriga but that this week she reviewed the file and it is now for the police to pursue the matter.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Now I think it is for the police to pursue the matter based on the guidance that she has given before going back to her for the final decision as to charges that will be levied.”

Marion Ali
“Mayor Moya had called her own conference to explain and she provided some documents that suggest or at least support that it was under-depositing that took place.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“She admitted that it was under-depositing didn’t she?”

Marion Ali
“So, yes. So then why would police charge somebody, obviously if a charge is levied, some crime was committed. Under-depositing doesn’t amount to a crime.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“I don’t think that is the issue, although that certainly is important in the context of accounting procedures and administration procedures and the whole question of accountability. If cash is going to be collected and not deposited, you need then to account for what happened to the cash. But I don’t know that—you may be absolutely right—I don’t know that that’s the fact of the under-deposit is itself a basis fro any criminal charge. My understanding is that there are questions as to what happened to the monies that were not deposited.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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