General — 12 May 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
CitCo votes to terminate City Administrator Candice Miller

Miller was fired for dereliction of duty

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 10, 2018– The Belize City Council voted yesterday, Wednesday, May 9, to terminate the services of City Administrator, Candice Miller for dereliction of fiduciary duties to the Council.

Miller was placed on a one-month suspension after it was discovered that she had signed some cheques that the incoming People’s United Party (PUP) Council found to be highly questionable.

However, before the one-month suspension, with its full salary benefits, was completed, Miller engaged the services of attorney Magali Perdomo to legally challenge the suspension, contending that it violated the principles of natural justice.

Miller was granted a four-year extension to her contract (the length of each City Council’s term of office is only 3 years) by the outgoing UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley. Bradley, when questioned about the contract that he signed with Miller almost one year before the contract she was working on would have expired, said that the contract would bring continuity to the work of the Belize City Council.

During the transition period, the incoming PUP City Council discovered that Miller had signed a cheque in excess of $6,000 to pay a bill for food and drinks purchased by Joseph Bradley, the father of Mayor Darrell Bradley, who was employed at the City Council as a Compliance Officer.

In addition to the cheque that was made out to the owner of Chon Singh Restaurant, Christopher Cheng (Chon Singh Restaurant is located across the street from the City Council’s offices on North Front Street), for the food and drinks that were purchased in the name of Joseph Bradley, the incoming PUP City Council also found other instances where it felt that Miller did not exercise sufficient due diligence in regard to how the Council’s funds were spent.

One such instance was a loan that the Council, under Mayor Bradley, had given Enrique Carballo of Orange Walk, secretary of the Mayors Association, an interest-free loan of $20,000 in February 2017, and up to date, there is no record of any payment being made toward that loan.

Miller is also accused of approving payment for a cheque for around $59,000 for one Gilbert Franklin on March 8, one day after the municipal elections.

These are only a few of the issues that have caught the attention of Mayor Wagner and his council.

Miller has indicated that she will mount a legal challenge to her termination. Miller’s new 4- year contract would have earned her $90,000 per year in salary and an additional $6,000 monthly in allowances.

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Deshawn Swasey

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