The attorney who represented the former Mayor of Lucea, Shernet Haughton, says the Office of the Contractor General, OCG, was attempting to use her as a scapegoat in a campaign against nepotism in Jamaica.
Her attorney, Delroy Morgan, told our news centre the ordeal has dealt significant damage to the life and career of Ms. Haughton.
Ms. Haughton was freed of charges of misconduct in a public office in the Hanover Parish Court on Tuesday.
In 2016, the Director of Public Prosecutions charged Ms. Haughton for misconduct in a public office and breaches of the public sector procurement regulation of 2008.
Marjorie Gordon reports.
In 2014, the OCG accused Ms. Haughton of nepotism, favouritism, and conflict of interest in the awarding of contracts to relatives and persons affiliated to her.
Former Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, had raised issues regarding 22 contracts, valued at 3-point-7 million dollars which Haughton is alleged to have facilitated.
But, Ms. Haughton’s attorney says his client didn’t issue any contract during her stewardship as Mayor at the Hanover Parish Council.
Mr. Morgan says his client only made recommendations for people to participate in work programmes.
He says those recommendations were within her remit as a councillor.
Mr. Morgan says the court ruled his client has no case to answer.
According to Mr. Morgan, his client has been significantly damaged by a series of events that led to her resignation as Mayor.
He says the OCG was using his client to fuel a campaign against nepotism in the country.
NOTE: In a previous version of this story, we referenced Former Contractor General, Greg Christie, suggesting that it was under his tenure that the accusations were levied against the ex-mayor.