Prime Minister Clarifies Payment Status of Area Representative Amid Scandal
Prime Minister John Briceno has doubled down on his statement that Area Representative Andre Perez is not being paid while on his leave of absence. Last month, Perez took a leave of absence from office after he was caught in a scandal involving allegations of rape, misfeasance, and untoward behavior as an elected representative. The PM had previously stated that Perez was not receiving his salary as a government minister, but documents that proved otherwise. PM Briceno explained today that his Cabinet Secretary had forgotten to send the stop order for Perez’s salary to the Ministry of Finance.
John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Honestly I feel offended because when I said that….. don’t laugh Jules I’m being honest. But it’s the truth because you’re basically telling me that I’m lying. I said that he asked for a leave of absence and it’s an unpaid leave of absence. He’s not a cabinet minister so how can he get his salary? Let’s start on the basis. And it seems that indeed the Cabinet Secretary forgot to pass it down the chain of command that he should not get that salary. We’re hoping now that the CABSEC will speak to him, that probably we’ll have to refund that first part that he got, because he was not a minister of cabinet.”
Reporter: But still gets paid as area rep ?
John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Of course he’s still the area rep.and he gets the constituency development fund and so forth because he’s still the representative for Belize Rural South.”