Councillor Haughton's lawyer welcomes DPP ruling
The lawyer for Shernette Haughton, the councillor who was accused of nepotism, is welcoming a ruling that his embarrassed client will not face criminal prosecution.
The Office of the Contractor General accused Haughton of nepotism during her 2012-2014 tenure as chairman of the Hanover Parish Council.
However, yesterday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn said there is no criminal offence called nepotism and instead recommended that the councillor should face 'strong administrative action or sanctions'.
Reacting to the decision, Haughton’s attorney, Delford Morgan argued that she could not have been prosecuted for what does not exist in law.
Meanwhile, he says his client has accepted that her actions may have been unethical.
He says Haughton, who has faced calls to resign as a councillor, is now awaiting Sunday’s decision of the PNP on her status in the party.
The DPP says although the evidence of nepotism is overwhelming, more would have been needed to bring criminal charges against the councillor.
Llewellyn noted that none of the contracts pointed out by the OCG amounted to or exceeded the $500,000 threshold which would have created the circumstances for criminal prosecution.
The highest valued contract recommended for award by Haughton was $300,000.
However, the DPP argues that Haughton could have been deliberate in keeping the contracts below the legal threshold.