BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 2, 2020– The United Democratic Party Belize City Council that was led by Mayor Darrell Bradley left a paper trail of unpaid bills and other questionable financial transactions.
The latest unpaid tab left by the previous council resurfaced on June 12, 2020, when attorney Mikhail Arguelles wrote the Belize City Council’s Senior Financial Manager, Rosalie Perez, on behalf of his client, Lee Mark Chang, owner of Chon Saan Restaurant. The subject of the letter was “re property tax arrangement.”
Arguelles’ letter to Perez stated that there was an informal agreement between Chang and the Bradley-led City Council for the provision of food and drinks to the City Council’s staff members.
Arguelles’ letter revealed that there was a whopping unpaid bill for food and drinks dating back from September 2016 to October 2017 for $18,679 18.
Arguelles proposed that the City Council honor the agreement between his client and the City Council and apply the outstanding balance toward the restaurant’s business tax for the year 2021.
The attorney provided some handwritten invoices, some of which bore the names of specific City Council employees. There were other invoices, however, which were only made out to the City Council.
While some invoices were attached to the letter to Perez, there was no copy of the agreement which the letter had referenced.
Furthermore, the kind of tax tradeoff that the attorney for Lee Mark Chang made reference to in his letter may not be sanctioned by the relevant laws governing the operation of the City Council.
In a telephone interview with AMANDALA, attorney William Lindo, Jr. who is acting on behalf of the Belize City Council, told us that the council is of the view that the bill was not properly incurred.
Lindo, however, told us that he is in discussion with the attorney representing Chang, and it is their hope that litigation can be avoided in this matter.