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Sep 12, 2022

Former Director of Tourism Karen Bevans Successfully Sues B.T.B.

Former Director of Tourism Karen Bevans was victorious in court today and has been awarded in excess of eight hundred thousand dollars after being terminated from the Belize Tourism Board when the Briceño administration took office in late 2020.  Viewers would recall that in the wake of that debacle, a lawsuit had been brought against Prime Minister John Briceño for defamatory remarks made against Bevans during an appearance on a radio and television morning show.  In this claim, Bevans sued the B.T.B. and the Ministry of Tourism for dismissing her without cause, alleging that the contract awarded to her by former Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior was illegal. In both cases, Bevans was represented in the Supreme Court by former Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The decision was handed down earlier today by Justice Genevieve Chabot.


Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow, Attorney-at-law

“Mrs. Bevans sued the B.T.B. after she was terminated.  The B.T.B., in fact, filed a counterclaim against her. That arose because when they wrote her to tell her that she was being terminated they said we’ll pay you a year’s salary and that amounted to maybe seven hundred thousand dollars or six hundred, whatever it is. They said but this is a full and final settlement. You are being terminated, we‘ll give you a year‘s salary that‘s it. She came to me and I wrote back to say we do not accept that. When they sent the letter talking about the year‘s salary that they would give, they said we‘ll do this by way of an ex-gratia payment. Now ex-gratia always means that we’re doing it, as it were, out of the goodness of our heart.  But they said that while it was ex-gratia, her acceptance had to be conditioned on her agreement that she would not then pursue the rest of her salary up until the end of the unexpired portion of the contract. We wrote back to say that’s nonsense. They still deposited that year’s salary in her account. Since we proceeded to sue, they then counterclaimed for the return of the amount they had put in her account. We, although I looked at it and felt that the law was on our side, we could have claimed for the seven hundred and sixty-odd thousand which was the balance of Mrs. Bevans‘ contract, minus the one-year salary they had paid, but I thought that would be greedy. We accept the one-year salary and we will deduct that from the entirety. They weren‘t satisfied as I indicated with that so they claimed for that year‘s salary to be returned. They also though, lodged what is known as an ancillary claim. They put up a defense and a counterclaim to Mrs. Bevans’ claim, but then they joined the ex-Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, the ex-chair of the Belize Tourism Board of Directors, Einer Gomez, the ex-deputy chair Glenford Eiley and this ancillary claim that the B.T.B. brought against those three was to this effect, if, the B.T.B. said, we lose against Karen Bevans whatever we have to pay, you will have to contribute to.”

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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