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CAPI continues lobby for former Lucea mayor to resign

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 5:53 PM

CAPI is reiterating its call for the former mayor of Lucea to step down as a councillor in the Hanover Parish Council.

The lobby group's call for her resignation is based on a report by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG), which accused former mayor Shernette Haughton of  nepotism, favouritism, and conflicts of interest.

The accusations arose out of a probe by the OCG into her recommendations for the award of government contracts to relatives and her affiliates while she was mayor of Lucea. She issued contracts totalling some J$3 million.

CAPI says if Haughton, who is also the councillor for the Green Island division, remains in the position, Jamaica runs the risk of being viewed as a "corruptocracy", which is a state run by corrupt politicians. 

According to CAPI, Haughton should be forced to resign, noting that her utterances have demonstrated a lack of appreciation for basic ethics in leadership in public office. 

CAPI's Co-convenor Dennis Meadows says the absence of charges or a criminal conviction should not be the only standard used to determine misconduct and corruption in public office.  He says Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller must act decisively against the slightest appearance of corruption, if her statements against corruption at her inauguration are to be taken seriously.

The People's National Party (PNP) had said last week that Haughton is to face it's Integrity Commission.

The PNP said its executive had considered the OCG's report and accepted that moral and ethical issues were central to the findings.

Haughton will be asked to appear before the Integrity Commission with her attorney to answer questions.

The PNP's Integrity Commission is to provide a report into its probe by April 20, which it says will help determine the specific disciplinary action required. This includes a determination on whether Haughton will be deemed eligible to contest any election for the PNP in the future.

Haughton’s lawyer, Delford Morgan, has rejected claims in the OCG report.