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Jun 27, 2011

B.E.L. says former C.E.O. dished out $2.7 Million in benefits

Rodwell Williams

Today makes one week since the government nationalized Belize Electricity Limited. The company’s C.E.O. is Jeffrey Locke, and a new board has been installed, but the chairman remains Rodwell Williams, the Prime Minister’s law partner of Barrow and Williams.  When we caught up with Williams at the F.F.B. case, he also spoke on the issue of B.E.L. According to Williams, B.E.L.’s coffers were drained of more than two and a half million dollars that were paid out to employees who recently left the company.

Rodwell Williams, Chairman, Belize Electricity Limited

“As chairman I am aware as we seek to do some diligence, in relation to the state of the company at the time of its acquisition by the government, [that] there is material at hand which indicate that about two point seven million dollars Belize [currency] was paid out to the former chief executive officer and the other two.  I think there are about five additional executive managers in addition to two Canadians that were posted, I believe, in the T&E section of the company.  They also received, were part of that two point seven million dollars.  What transpired if I may say so is that the then chief executive officer had resigned on the seventeenth of June [to become] effective the eighteenth and on the seventeenth he fired his entire frontline management.  In other words [he] decapitated the company, fired them and paid them off on the basis that he terminated them which I believe we have doubts as to whether he was competent to terminate these people.  These people, of course, it was open for them to resign but if you resign of course you don’t receive that kind of package when you resign.

This was not a board decision [at] no time.  I went there as the chairman, as the then chairman to discourage them from resigning and to give them every assurance that the new board, if there was a new board and if there was an acquisition, would wish them to continue.  I went there personally on Thursday to give the former chief executive officer and the other frontline managers my assurance that that was certainly the intention were an acquisition to occur.  They preferred to be fired, the chief executive officer himself resigned and then he purported and I say that purported to terminate the five other frontline managers including the two Canadians in the T&E section of the company.

I think that was very reckless to have orchestrated that kind of action given the situation the company is in and given the fact that it appeared also to us that a few days before all the executive managers they do have company vehicles.  We are in the process of verifying this but they were purportedly sold or transferred to BECOL a few days before the resignation and purported termination.  We don’t think that the then chief executive officer was competent to terminate [anyone] that would have been an authority in the board and the board never met, never dealt with that matter.  But in any event that’s what occurred.”

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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13 Responses for “B.E.L. says former C.E.O. dished out $2.7 Million in benefits”

  1. maggie says:

    It’s interesting to hear this other side of the story. Thanks. Bill Lindo wrote something to this effect (apparent fleecing) in an article in the weekend’s amandala. I don’t know if i’d condemn Lynn for this last act, though. I mean, he’s trading blows with the PM.

  2. Rod says:

    Who is this guy to be CEO of a company he has no experience running a company what so ever only because he is the pm friend I guess the pm is trying to pay off his hospital bill he has in Miami which is over a million dollars and who was the guarantor of his bill it was the poor belizean people through the gov. Of Belize so while the rest of us if we get shot will be left to die in the Belize hospital but the pm friend lives because the poor people of Belize will end up paying for his bill in Miami if this isn’t corrupt I don’t know what is worse gov. And pm in the history of Belize most corrupt ever march people march.

  3. Real Belizean says:

    I am so happy that Mr. Young resigned, Dean is clearly sending this country aground. Welcome to black outs and increase crime, you will not get another term Dean. Lynn, take a bow I am very proud of you, your character is non negotiable and you have an indelible trait given by your parents who are of good moral standing, stay true to yourself, continue to do good, and God bless.

  4. wendolina says:

    Ay since when did my Belize got like this???? :(

  5. realbealizean says:

    I am so proud that Mr. Young resigned, he is a man of indelible traits. He was really the working giant of this company, and he deserves his pay off, he spent many sleepless nights and overtime doing work for this company. Thats right Lynn, get out of the frying pan, and let someone take up that hot seat. Dean is sending the country aground, and will not get another term in office. Investors will not want to invest in Belize. Welcome to blackouts and tremendous increase in crime and violence.

  6. cg says:

    see even private employed people can play hardball like the GOB..y r u complaining lol

  7. Belizean2dbone says:

    Rod, get your facts together bredda. Rodwell is not CEO of BEL. He is the Chairman and was the Chairman even under Fortis Co. Stop looking for corruption where its not.

  8. J says:

    I am happy that the hard working management of BEL will benefit from this money. Definitely prefer that they are the ones that will benefit versus a bunch of incompetent, government buffoons. I am glad that these people are showing the government who are the really smart people.

  9. tim says:

    isn’t this the same guy that went to miamia after he got shot?? I thought he died?? oh boy he is back to haunt our country… what does he know about BTL????

  10. Roy Yates says:

    Did I mist something that the guys that shot Rodwell Wiliams has not been tried as yet for the crime. What’s with that?

  11. Sunshine says:

    Oh mein it hurts my heart when people make stupid comments without reading properly. can you people even read and comprehend simple english. Rod stop writing without thinking my bwoy you just want some $#!% to write about. Rodwell is not CEO and he does know how to run a company he has his own, and there is a thing called insurance, not Rodwell’s problem if you dont have.Tim when did Rodwell ever haunt our coutnry do you even know who he is? you all write without sense. Sitting infront of your computers everyday to pass stupid comments is not prosperity but stupidity you all need to grow up and know the facts before writing rubbish.

  12. mw says:

    Maggie: You would not hold Lyn’s decision against him? wow, robbing a company in that deliberate manner ought not to be complimented, lets not forget that he ran the company into the ground!
    Rod: What an idiotic thing to day, welcome to blackouts and crime? cause all that only started happening under UDP-for once I would like to hear some intelligent conversation.
    J I don’t think you have the intelligence to figure out who is smart and who is not, after all your only interest should be that the benefit goes to the many Belizeans who need electricity!
    RealBelizean: Dean is sending the country aground? how stupid are you? really? cause the PUP did not put us in the worst position this country has ever been in? they ran this country UNDERGROUND! realbelizean indeed!
    Tim you are such an idiot that responding to you is a waste of time, your IQ is obviously way below average.

  13. common sense says:

    at mw

    Now there is no need to insult anyone’s intelligence even if they are siding with the executives of BEL. it seems that you must be unaware of the interview in which Lynn Young explained that this money was set aside for retirement for the 30+ YEARS they have been working there. that this retirement fund is SEPARATE from BEL’s financing and that it is managed by the employees of BEL. This is no robbing but a payment due to hard work that went towards building the largest utility company in Belize that has provided excellent service even when under fire by the government and the people of Belize. Ironic isn’t it? that the one insulting everyone else over their comments and opinions they have made, is behaving the most ignorant of all.

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