Town Clerk leased land to shipping company not owned by City Council – Inquiry hears

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Town Clerk Royston King is under investigation for leasing a shipping company a plot of land which is not owned by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC).

In documents seen by the News Room, the Town Clerk entered into an agreement with Quick Shipping Inc. on April 5, 2016 whereby the company was granted permission to occupy the land located at Lot 1 Mudflat Lombard Street, Georgetown at an initial cost of $625,000 per year.

However, the land is reportedly not owned by the City Council. News Room understands that the land is actually owned by the government’s asset holding company, namely National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).

The matter is being probed by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into City Hall which is headed by Justice Cecil Kennard.

At the opening on the public hearings on Monday, Justice Kennard informed that the COI will be probing allegations that the Town Clerk leased to a shipping company a plot of land which is being claimed by NICIL.

The shipping company had subsequently dispatched a letter dated September 6, 2016 to NICIL, requesting permission to rent the property.

From all indications, the Town Clerk did not submit the lease agreement to the full Council for vetting and approval, as is required for all contracts involving M&CC.

Both the Town Clerk and Mayor Patricia Chase-Green are likely to testify before the Commission on this and several other allegations regarding the mismanagement of funds and the way in which contracts are awarded and entered into.

Efforts by News Room to contact both officials for a comment on this matter proved futile.

When the COI into City Hall was first announced, News Room contacted the Mayor but she said she will not be commenting.

The Town Clerk has been instructed to proceed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the COI which was established by the Local Government Commission (LGC).

 

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