BELMOPAN, Cayo District, Thurs. Mar. 23, 2017–Last year, Candelaria Saldivar, former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry responsible for Immigration and sister of Belmopan area representative John Saldivar, was put on early retirement after having received an estimated $100,000 in salary plus benefits while “chilling” for almost 19 months on paid leave.
Today, Lake Independence area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party, Cordel Hyde, senior deputy leader of the party, said during his budget presentation that the wife of an ex-minister, assigned to a diplomatic post overseas as Consul General of Belize to New York, is still receiving her salary while accompanying her husband in the US.
Hon. Cordel Hyde claims ex-UDP minister’s wife, paid as director of CITO, is with her Consul General husband in New York
“Everybody knows that Mr. [Herman] Longsworth was rewarded for stepping down in Albert with a nice cushy job in New York. When you go to these jobs, you take your family with you. The evidence we have suggests that Mrs. Longsworth, who was the director of CITO [Central Information Technology Office] when she left the country last year, is still getting paid as the director of CITO as we speak. That’s $6,800 each month…” Hyde said.
In reply, the Foreign Affairs Minister confirmed that Mrs. Longsworth is with her husband overseas, and he did not dispute the assertion that Longsworth was still receiving her usual salary while there.
“As far as I know, she is working in the New York office with her husband as the consular representative…” Elrington said.
He went on to say that due to immigration problems in the US, the Mexican government has perceived a great need for consular services, and Belize also needs to boost its consular service there. He added that there was a proposal for an allocation for $487,200 for an office in Chicago, but the actual allocation in the new budget being debated today is zero.
“We may well have to do a supplementary budget, if in fact the trend we are seeing coming out of the United States continues,” Elrington said.
CITO lists Francisco Gonzalez as its Acting Director.
H. E. Longsworth assumed duties in New York seven months ago, around August/September 2016.