Paula Llewellyn, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has reversed her ruling previously made not to bring criminal charges against former Mayor of Lucea in the PNP controlled Parish Council. Haughton was accused of Nepotism and breaches of the Contractor General Act. Miss Haugbton was forced to step down as Mayor in the wake of these allegations/findings.
An investigation launched by the Office of the Contractor (OCG). The Conractor General Dirk Harrison concluded that in his/ their opinion, there were clear breaches of Procurement as it relates to the awarding of contacts.
Allegations are that she awarded some 22 contracts valued at some J$ 3.7 million dollars to family members without making full disclosure of this activity.
In an effort to apparently circumvent the law, Miss Haughton is accused of breaking up the contracts into small amounts so as not to be detected as having broken the law. It was this apparent scheme that may have blind sided the DPP.
Dirk Harrison, Contractor General sent an opinion to the DPP with a view to proffering possible criminal charges against the former Mayor clamming that Sections 36 & 40 of the OCG ACT may have been breached.
The DPP subsequently ruled that there was no wrong doing but in her opinion the breaches were not elevated to the level to proceed with criminal charges against Miss Haughton.
Miss Llewellyn went public with her ruling in response to public outcry. A head on collision was in the making …stay tuned as the drama unfolded.
The OCG HEAD was fuming and decided to take the DPP to Court in an effort to get a Judicial Review of her decision.
Before the Court could rule the DPP reversed her decision. Miss Haughton’s matter has now been referred to the police for investigation and possible criminal charges to be laid against her. It is quite an embarrassment.
Some 8 months have since elapsed since the DPP’s original ruling.
Haughton’s lawyer says she is innocent. They cannot say otherwise, can they?
The PNP is in a tail spin. The JLP is laughing their heads off, based on talk show comments. We are a buzz out here on this matter. Do not forget we are on Election Watch.
The Court has ordered the DPP’a office to pay legal costs. Egg is plastered over the DPP’s face.
The DPP, Paula Llewellyn has been the Chief Prosecutor for 7 years and has had 4 matters referred for JUDICIAL Review.
Her office is insulated from
political direction being an independent body.
“It is not immediately clear if Miss SHERNET HAUGHTON will resign her seat as a sitting Councillor in light of this new development. She had stepped down as Mayor when the allegations first surfaced but resisted to resign as councillor. She was strengthened by the DPP’s original ruling not to prosecute and on legal advice” we are told
By: Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie
Senior international correspondent for Vision newspaper Canada.