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Feb 7, 2014

Public officers who verified signatures in Penner Recall well-compensated

On December thirty-first, the Elections and Boundaries Department rejected the Elvin Penner recall petition submitted by the P.U.P. Of two thousand and two signatures presented for scrutiny, only one thousand, six hundred and sixty-five were accepted, meaning that the petition fell short by seventy-nine signatures. The decision by the Elections and Boundaries Department unleashed a firestorm of protest from the People’s United Party, and preparations by that party to seek judicial review. That matter should soon be before the courts. The exercise to verify signatures was carried out with the assistance of public officers seconded to the Elections and Boundaries Department for the month long verification process. By all accounts, it was a labour-intensive process and today, News Five received verification that those who took part in the process were well-compensated, to the tune of more than twenty-five thousand dollars in what have been called honorariums. In a memo from the Financial Secretary to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of the Public Service dated January seventh, 2014, the Ministry of finance approves those honorariums. Thirty persons benefitted from the payments. Now honorariums are not exactly rare in the public service, but what caught our attention was the quantum of those payments. The average, given to thirteen public officers, is one thousand dollars. Two persons received two thousand dollars each – handwriting expert Genoveva Marin and Assistant Chief Elections Officer Francisco Zuniga. Two others received fifteen hundred dollars each, while the others ranged between one hundred to five hundred dollars. We’re not suggesting anything untoward, but based on queries we have made, the quantum of some of those payments made is excessive, especially in instances where the officers are receiving their salaries and subsistence payments anyway.

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4 Responses for “Public officers who verified signatures in Penner Recall well-compensated”

  1. moses x says:

    ATHENS — When Antonis Kantas, a deputy in the Defense Ministry here, spoke up against the purchase of expensive German-made tanks in 2001, a representative of the tank’s manufacturer stopped by his office to leave a satchel on his sofa. It contained 600,000 euros, about $814,000. Other arms manufacturers eager to make deals came by, too, some guiding him through the ins and outs of international banking and then paying him off with deposits to his overseas accounts.

    At the time, Mr. Kantas, a wiry former military officer, did not actually have the authority to decide much of anything on his own. But corruption was so rampant inside the Greek equivalent of the Pentagon that even a man of his relatively modest rank, he testified recently, was able to amass nearly $19 million in just five years on the job.

    Greeks are hardened to stories of corruption. But even they have been transfixed by Mr. Kantas’s confessions since he was arrested recently on a litany of charges including money laundering and behavior that was detrimental to the Greek state. Never before has an official opened such a wide window on the eye-popping system of payoffs at work inside a Greek government ministry. At various points, Mr. Kantas, who returned to testify again last week, told prosecutors he had taken so many bribes he could not possibly remember the details.

  2. LOL says:

    I am sure the ones who played an instrumental part of making the petition fail got a bigger chunk out of that $25K

  3. Ali BaBarrow, leads 40, against the rest of Belize says:

    “fell short by seventy-nine signatures”

    So what is the problem of finding additional 79 bona-fide voting Belizeans?
    Seems like everyday the whole list can be resubmitted until the magic 79 are approved.

    Did not work the first time so you give up?
    Pursuing it through the courts is good, but GOB ignores court orders.

    Clearly the UDP does not want any election.
    But the government is becoming so dysfunctional, soon no one can run it.
    With 90% of Belizeans getting fed up with corruption, soon heads will roll.

  4. Dumb Guy says:

    I can count to 2,000 on a good day. And I need a job.

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