The law firm of former Prime Minister Dean Barrow has filed an application in the Supreme Court reference a lawsuit against the current Prime Minister John Briceno. The lawsuit surrounds an interview that the PM Briceno granted to Love News on November 24 where he referenced the employment contract of the Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Karen Bevans. Bevans has since sought legal representation from Barrow and Williams Firm and the matter became live in the courts on Friday, January 8 when the court submissions were made. It is unclear on what grounds Bevans is suing but as we noted earlier it does surround her 5-year-contract with the BTB that was signed in April 2019. Love News received a copy of the contract that shows Bevans being paid in salaries and allowances over a quarter million dollars each year. To simply put it, Karen Bevans collects seventeen thousand four hundred dollars every month as her salary and allowances for telephone, housing and internet. As we noted we are not certain what part of Briceno’s interview she has taken offense on, but we can tell you that Prime Minister Briceno is not backing down either.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: ” If Mrs.Bevans wants to sue me that’s her right as a Belizean citizen . I stand by what I said, I don’t think she wants to go to court because when we set up all the evidence of what has happened during her time it’s not going to be a pretty picture and so I would hope that she decides not to go to court but if she wants to go to court then that’s her right and I support that.”
Reporter: She remains BTB Director?
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Yes she remains the Director of BTB with her $250,000 times five how much is that ?”
Reporter: That’s a lot of money.
Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “A lot of money, over a million dollars she’s going to collect at a time when one of the first things that she did in April was fire almost half of her staff because she wanted to save money. So I don’t think she wants us to go down that road.”
About a month ago the media had met up with the Prime Minister’s attorney Eamon Courtenay who also gave us a brief byte on the lawsuit.
Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay: “I hope Ms.Bevans won’t sue the Prime Minister, that would be a sad mistake. Think about it. $1.25 million dollars and you want to sue the Prime Minister ? Let’s not get it twisted too early in the day. Right ? Alright. I have nothing more to say on that.”
Aside from the salary and allowances that Bevans is collecting as the Director of the BTB, she also gets a life and health insurance, a vehicle plus fuel, mileage and repairs as well as a cell phone, a tablet and a laptop, along with twenty five percent salary bonus at the end of each year. Her salary is increased from five to ten percent each year and she is granted 30 days holiday annually.