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Feb 21, 2012

S.S.B. C.E.O. Merlene Bailey Martinez resigns

Merlene Bailey-Martinez

Merlene Bailey-Martinez has resigned as C.E.O. of the Social Security weeks after reports of insider trading became public. The Social Security Board decided since early last week to terminate Bailey-Martinez so when she turned up to work on Monday, it raised a number of questions. Bailey-Martinez had been placed on administrative leave since January eleventh, to allow for an investigation by Pannell Kerr Forster to take its course. The facts are that while the board decided to terminate her, it also gave her options. Bailey-Martinez was given a deadline to resign by Monday before a meeting of the Board was convened. Failure to resign would have led to her immediate termination. So on Monday she took the first option to tender her resignation. But it is still not quite over because even though she resigned, up to this morning there was no set date as to when it takes effect. In her letter to the Board which was accepted, Bailey-Martinez says that the date will be mutually agreed to.  Leticia Vega, who was acting C.E.O. during Bailey-Martinez’s suspension, will continue in that role during the transitional period. We tried to find out if the transition could stretch out and Bailey-Martinez could still be on the job going into the March seventh elections, but we could not clear answers. A News Five team was on hand after the board meeting on Monday which went on until eighty thirty. Several persons exited the S.S.B. building on Princess Margaret Drive and a few of them were seen carrying boxes of files. Acting Chair Dennis Jones made the following comments exclusively to News Five.

Dennis Jones, Acting C.E.O., S.S.B. Board of Directors

“We had a process which began with the placement of Misses Martinez, the C.E.O. and the internal auditor on administrative leave. When the accusations were being made, we felt that was the best thing to do to allow them space where an investigation could be done. The investigation was initiated; we got a draft report which we then sent to the two individuals or them to review. They reviewed this report and had comments which we then took back to the investigators, PKF. And they made some comments to us in a discussion last Thursday. We have since received the resignation of Misses Martinez which we accepted and we will ask the acting C.E.O., Misses Vega, to hold over for the duration of the period coming up until we can work out transitional arrangements with Misses Martinez and Misses Vega.”

Isani Cayetano

“I understand that a petition was also set so that the signatures of the employees would have had some bearing on the decision of the board. Can you speak on us about that?”

Dennis Jones

Dennis Jones

“I don’t think so. We were very deliberate, very focus on making sure that we did the right things. We had an investigation, we gave the people an opportunity to respond, we got an opportunity to discuss in detail with the investigators. The fact that there was an attempt to petition the board had nothing to do really with our decision.”

This afternoon, the Social security Board issued a release saying that the Board on Monday accepted Bailey Martinez’s resignation which was tendered “due to negative public criticism and its impact to her family and her Christian community, as well as, to protect the S.S.B. from negative publicity.” The investigators emphasized that the Internal Auditor, Denise Mahler, is responsible to the Board of Directors and not the C.E.O. and that she returned to work this past Monday. S.S.B. also says that no management or staff who made additional payments to reduce their housing mortgage balance below the fifty thousand dollar threshold after September thirtieth 2011, benefited from the S.S.B. Housing Loan writes off.

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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9 Responses for “S.S.B. C.E.O. Merlene Bailey Martinez resigns”

  1. Freetown GYAL says:

    that was the honorable thing to do. now she should expose LOIS and DEAN. the fact that Lois Young Barrow the exwife of the primeminister and DENNYS BARROW the brother of the prime minister and ANWAR BARROW the son of the prime minister getting all these exclusive contracts and reaping millions of dollars, tax payers dollars is just as illegal.the christian thing to do now is to expose those who masterminded the plot

  2. david96500 says:

    The captain goes down with his ship…he or in this case she is responsible at the end of the day. I would really like to know..if she will get paid “Notice or Severance Pay”. The Labor Act Chapter 297 Section 46 talks about good and sufficient cause for not paying Notice and Severance. Section 2(a) says “when a worker is guilty of a misconduct, whether in the course of his duties or not, inconsistent with the fulfillment of the express or implied conditions of contract of service”. In my opinion this applies in this case. I hope SSB makes this matter public. They should because they are using the money that employers and employees contribute every week so we have a right to know.

  3. Bmp man says:



  4. Elgin Martinez says:

    GOB need to stop appointing people base on political affiliations or family ties and appoint them base on their character and ability stop the”NEPOTISM” .

  5. Andrea says:

    She will get all compensation, plus contract payment for the rest of her time along with other perks. If it was a small fish that person would probably be in an out of the court room. Get rid of those people. I agree stop appointing flunkees and start putting people who are already in the system and knows what to do instead of stealing from the poor.

  6. CEO says:

    All this mess needs to stop if our country will move ahead and develop the way it should. Seems like the Social Security money is a grab tub. The last crowd grabbred from there too to do some of their mess too. She tried to game the system and I am sure she knew it was wrong.

    She was given the option to resign and she did so the criminal proceedings should be left alone. It was good that she was caught and no money was actually lost.

    How the heck can Ms Young try to fight in her corner to keep her on. When a person does something like this there is no way it should even be considered to keep her on. When ever we start hiring and promoting the best person for the job regardless of how they choose to vote this will be another step in the right direction. This may be a long way off because we are not even at the point where we are able to send our best athlete to represent our country we still send someone that voted the right way.

  7. Jan says:

    Wow. Im like the dog please didnt we all say and hear her name being called on the list wtih other ssb members. Now its said they never benefited…please… Really hard & sad to see that all the hard working belizeans monies are put to waste. Thank you for ripping off my pension…

  8. Pelican says:

    She got connected to SSB by investigating and now she has been investigated…. What a big flip flop!!!!!!!!!!! Some people just don’t get it….

  9. Farin DUde says:

    There is always more to the story. Maybe she made a poor decision but ministers make poor decisions every single day and nobody holds them accountable. In addition, you hear the same name on every board. These people make millions for not doing anything. Guaranteed money!!! Dehn rich forever and when or if things get too tight they fly out. Its a very sad situation.Although i don’t condone her ‘action’. I wish Mrs. Bailey the best!

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