A plot of riverfront land, reportedly not the property of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council, (M&CC), was leased to a shipping company by Town Clerk, Royston King.
King has reportedly been collecting a yearly rent from the tenants, despite claims that the State holding company– National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) owns the property.
The land lease is among the list of complaints which will be investigated by the Commission of Inquiry, (CoI) into the administrative affairs of City Hall.
The CoI which is being presided over by retired Justice Cecil Kennard commenced hearings at the Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue yesterday.
At the opening of the public hearing, Justice Kennard told the media that the land matter is set to come up as the first order of business for the CoI.
Further inquiries revealed that the Lot 1 Mud Lot, Lombard Street, Georgetown property, was leased to Quick Shipping Inc. since April 5, 2016 at the cost of $625,000 per year.
NICIL is said to have raised an objection over the Town Clerk’s leasing of the Wharf Front Land.
NICIL noted that King had no authority to lease the land. The shipping company subsequently wrote NICIL requesting permission to rent the land. But King never revoked his lease to the company.
As a result, NICIL filed a complaint with the Local Government Commission, (LGC) over the matter.
Last week, the LGC Chairman, Mortimer Mingo, revealed the decision to launch a CoI into City Hall is premised on a series of complaints about the financial matters at City Hall.
Mingo said, too, that there are a number of complaints against the Town Clerk for mismanagement of funds, corruption and abuse of his authority.
“The law mandates that we take serious action against allegations of corruption.
“There are complaints about contracts being awarded to friends and family, that procurement rules being bypassed, failure to remit to the Credit Union contributions deducted from workers’ salaries in keeping with financial regulations and so on,” Mingo said.
The LGC had announced that the decision to launch a COI into administration of City Hall was taken earlier this year.
In a letter to Council, the LGC explained that the decision to investigate City Hall was taken following “multiple complaints and adverse reports received by workers of the municipality and a number of agencies.”
As such, the LGC had ordered King on leave from September 21, 2018 to facilitate the investigation.
Earlier this year, a motion of no-confidence was brought against King by members of the City Council who accused him of dereliction of duty; awarding contracts without following the procurement rules; approving the highly controversial parking meter contract with overseas-based Smart City Solution, (SCS); and leasing the Bel Air Park and the Farnum playgrounds without the approval of the Council.
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