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Portia wants Brady probe

Published:Monday | March 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller has called for the General Legal Counsel to investigate whether attorney Harold Brady breached professional ethics in his alleged misrepresentation of the Government in the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips controversy.

"This NEC (National Executive Council) also calls upon the General Legal Counsel to investigate and determine whether Mr Brady's actions constitute a breach of ethics of the legal profession, which warrants disciplinary action," Simpson Miller said in her address at the People's National Party's (PNP) NEC meeting in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday.

Contracted

It has been revealed that documents posted on the United States Department of Justice website suggest that Manatt, through Brady, was contracted to represent the Jamaican Government in political and economic matters, including treaties.

Under the contract, the US firm is to be paid US$100,000 (approximately J$9 million) per quarter for its work on behalf of the Jamaican Government.

However, the local attorney has said that that reference in the contract was a mistake, which has since been corrected, and the arrangement with Manatt was a private business matter.

Dr Peter Phillips chairman of the PNP's Communications Commission brought attention to the Manatt issue in Parliament on March 16.

Misrepresented the Gov't

"Well Comrades, should it be found that Brady has misrepresented the Government, there are still questions that need to be answered by the prime minister, as posed by Dr Phillips in Parliament," Simpson Miller said.

"Against this background, I am demanding until then that Mr Brady be relieved of all his responsibilities and from membership on all boards ... the Government must do the right thing and, if it were not true, that means there would be an impersonation of a government official."

The Sunday Gleaner reported yesterday that Solicitor General Douglas Leys is to inspect the original documents of the engagement letter between Brady and Manatt this week. Brady was instructed by the Government to provide evidence of the correction of an error that the law firm was acting on behalf of the country.