The Office of the Contractor General, OCG, has found evidence of nepotism, favouritisim, and possible corruption by two councilors at the Hanover Parish Council.
Lloyd Hill is councilor for the Sandy Bay Division, and Anthony Walker is councilor for the Cauldwell Division.
According to an OCG report tabled in Parliament this week, the councilors awarded millions of dollars in contracts to their family members and political affiliates.
According to the OCG, between 2012 and 2014, Councilor Hill made recommendations for contracts to his sister, Winsome Cunningham; his niece, Berdgeth Henry; his cousin, John Jolly; and his wife’s mother and stepfather, Elrina and Jerome Jarrett.
Winsbert Ellis and Euviene Cameron, both described as PNP affiliates, also received contracts on Councilor Hill’s recommendation.
The OCG says these people received over 6-point-5 million dollars in contracts from Councilor Hill during the two year period.
That’s some 44-percent of his allocation from government as Councilor for Sandy Bay.
According to the report, his sister, Winsome Cunningham, received a total of 725-thousand dollars for five contracts.
But her competence to perform the road maintenance works described in one of the contracts, was called into question by the Contractor General.
In an interview, she admitted that she couldn’t manage or supervise the work herself, but got other people who could do it.
Meanwhile, Councilor Hill’s in-laws, Elrina and Jerome Jarrett, told the OCG they had a verbal agreement in which they would receive contracts in exchange for allowing the Hanover Parish Council to use a piece of their property to build a road.
One of the contracts awarded to the Jarretts was for cleaning a drain on their own property.
Over in the Cauldwell Division, Councilor Anthony Walker recommended contracts for his sisters, Sharon Campbell, Heather Meggoe, and Megan Henry, and his brother, Mervin Meggoe.
Several PNP affiliates also received contracts, including the Secretary for the Cauldwell Division, Simone Henry; Vice Chairman, Errald Miller; Treasurer, Orane Kentish; and two employees at the Western Hanover Constituency Office, Avian Perry, and Secretary Sanikah Allen.
Also on the list are five people described as PNP political runners, or election day workers: Herbert Williams, Alva Campbell, Lloyd Forrester, Sherika Smith, and Lolette Colville.
Councilor Walker’s sister, Sharon Campbell, received a 150-thousand dollar contract, after requesting assistance to buy a new refrigerator for their mother.
In an interview with the OCG, Campbell says the Councilor told her he couldn’t just give her the money, but she would have to work for it.
The OCG raises a concern that the Councilor used public funds to assist with the personal needs of his family.
The report says they found no evidence that either Councilor Hill or Walker collected money from the award of contracts, themselves.
However, it finds that the Councilors participated in shameless and brazen acts of nepotism and favouritism, that has brought the Hanover Parish Council into disrepute.
He’s referred them both the Director of Public Prosecutions for corruption, Misconduct in Public Office, and breaching government guidelines.