BELIZE CITY, Fri. Mar. 19, 2021– During a press conference held last week by the unions that are part of the Joint Union Negotiation Team which had been engaged in budget consultations with the government, the union reps, in addition to expressing their opposition to GOB’s proposed salary cuts, called for the removal of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley from her post. In response, Bradley released a public statement that blasted the allegations made against her. According to Bradley, the statements made by the unions are a direct and baseless attack on her office, one which she says cannot be ignored.
Bradley’s public statement asserted that the unions do not understand the mandate of the Auditor General or the powers vested in the office. Additionally, during an interview with KREM News’ Marisol Amaya, she reminded the public that her office, which is established under section 120 of the Constitution of Belize, is legally protected.
She shared that the call for her removal was especially shocking, since she had been in a meeting with the president of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) recently and none of the discontent that the unions are currently voicing in regard to her execution of her duties, were ever expressed to her.
“As late as last week Wednesday, I was in a meeting with the APSSM and we never…at least the President never made any revelations as to this kind of attack against any public officer for that matter. So where it is coming from, clearly there has been an old issue, one that I guess has not been addressed to their satisfaction, and it would appear that their satisfaction would mean my not being in that office.” Bradley shared.
During the interview, she told Amaya, “When I reviewed what was said, I realized that from the onset, this had to be from an ongoing, an old issue that we’ve had in the office over a period of time. It isn’t the first time, as I’ve said in the release, that they’ve made this attack, and they have also demanded, really demanded, that I be fired.”
The Auditor General then posited that the allegations against her and the calls for her removal may not be based fully on an objective assessment of her performance, but may actually be springing from a grievance of a more personal nature. She then suggested that the antipathy toward her could have been brewing for a long time and could be traced back to what occurred in her office a number of years ago. She then described a conflict in her office at that time in which the current Public Service Union president was knee-deep.
She said that the president of the PSU, Gerald Henry, who is also a staff member within her office, has had to be reprimanded at one time or the other by her, and that Henry, along with six other staff members who were also reprimanded and made to answer to the Public Services Commission, formed an alliance against her to see her ousted from the office.
They never got their way, and according to Bradley, she has been under constant attack from those persons since then.
“I would say to you that there is a group of people within the office; I would say at least 7 persons in the office…initially they had problems because I stand on principle and I will discipline and it is not everybody who will take lightly to being disciplined, and so in all those instances it has been people whom I have always had to discipline for one reason or the other,” Bradley said.
She noted that the recommendations to discipline the staff members inclusive of the PSU president were submitted to the Public Service Commission and were looked at and addressed. Since then she has been at odds with those subordinates who were taken before the commission based on her recommendation.
This is when she revealed the shocking allegation against the president of the PSU — that he, at one of those disciplinary meetings, allegedly made a direct threat on her life.
“The PSU president, in particular, when I took him there, I can recall I just got enough because he was very disrespectful and upon leaving that room that day he said that he wanted to say something to me and I said that he was in no position to say anything to me at that point. When I got up, he said that he just wanted me to know that they were planning to pay somebody to hurt me,” alleged Bradley.
She shared that these statements were made on the public record and that she made a police report after the threat was made on her life.
During a phone interview with 7News, Henry, the PSU president, refused to make any direct comments in reference to these revelations, but asserted that he will be seeing Bradley in court.