Haughton Maintains Innocence Amid DPP’s New Ruling

Former Lucea Mayor Shernette Haughton is maintaining her innocence, in light of the DPP’s decision to bring criminal charges against her.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewelyn, yesterday reversed her initial decision not to charge Haughton.

A special report by the Office of the Contractor General earlier this year accused Haughton of nepotism, favouritism and conflicts of interest when she recommended the award of nearly 4-million dollars in contracts to close family members.

But Haughton’s attorney, Delford Morgan, told Nationwide News today that his client will defend herself against the charges.

According to the OCG report, Haughton circumvented procedures by facilitating the signing of blank contract forms by contractors whom she recommended for the award of contracts.

She also cosigned several cheques payable to those family members, and collected some of the cheques on their behalf.

Haughton has maintained that she did not benefit from the contracts.

However, Mr. Morgan says Ms. Haughton did not have an obligation to disclose her relationship to the contract awardees, because she was not responsible for authorizing the contracts.

Mr. Morgan says he does not know if Ms. Haughton intends to resign as Councilor for the Green Island Division in Hanover.

She resigned as Mayor of Lucea earlier this year.