OCG Probes $1mil Discounted Prado Sale to Shernette Haughton

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The Office of the Contractor General, OCG, says the Hanover Parish Council breached government guidelines when it sold a 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado to then-Mayor of Lucea, Shernette Haughton, at a $1-million discount.

Further investigations could be carried out at the Hanover Parish Council in the wake of the OCG probe into the sale in 2014.

The report was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The probe was prompted by an allegation from an anonymous source that the vehicle was valued at $3.2-million dollars, but sold to the Mayor for $2.2-million.

The OCG says guidelines governing the sale of Government vehicles were breached.

According to the report, the method utilized by the Hanover Parish Council to dispose of the vehicle, showed impropriety and irregularity on the part of Secretary Manager, Judy McKenzie-Lawrence.

The OCG adds that the process demonstrated a disregard for the policy and guidelines in the sale.

The report says the Hanover Parish Council held a closed auction, rather than opening up the sale to all Government employees.

Furthermore, it says the Parish Council breached government policy by selling the vehicle to Haughton, who had served only two years as Mayor.

A Mayor can only purchase their assigned government vehicle after three years. The OCG wants the sale of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado deemed null and void.

Its sent its report to the Ministry of Local Government, and the Ministry of Finance to determine
the sanctions for breaches by the relevant officers.

The report comes less than two weeks after Haughton pled not guilty to charges of misconduct in public office and breaches of government procurement regulations.

This, in the wake of a March 2015 OCG report, which accused Haughton of nepotism, favouritism, and conflict of interest in the awarding of contracts to relatives and affiliates.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has also ordered an audit of the Hanover Parish Council, after yet another OCG report found evidence that two other councilors facilitated millions of dollars in contracts for their family members and political affiliates.

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