Boots on hotseat again; 40,000 Dollar Questionable disbursements

As far as we could recall, back in the 1990’s “Housing for the poor” was the brainchild of then Political newcomer Anthony Boots Martinez as he committed to help alleviate poverty in Southside Belize city.  But when the government changed in 2008 and the UDP came into power, the company was registered by one Martha Davis is the mother of Boots Martinez…  But the allegations and evidence about Mr Anthony Boots Martinez continue to mount  Documents released earlier today reveal that the Ministry of human development released over 40000 dollars to seven people on February 27 of this year. The documents have been red flagged particularly in light of the fact that we are only a few days away from municipal elections and the recipients of the sums of money include: one John Pollard: Pollard is one of the names sited by Kirk Lamb, who indicated that like himself, Pollard was one of the men that Martinez used to reallocate money’s to housing for the poor. Our colleagues at Krem shared with us parts of the telephone interview Martinez gave to journalist MariSol Amaya who has been leading the investigation here is how that went.

 

 

Journalist:  The community Assistance for these 7 people: John Pollard, William Henry Yaniky Smiling, Alston Leon Young, Jeffrey Gerald Joseph, Kent Arnold; among them someone from Roaring Creek as well, Are you able to tell us on the record what that is all about?

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez

That does not an unusual transaction. Under the official charity fund, the OCF, there is a there is a line item on whether we will help people with community projects, people that are sick, or people that are bringing in proposals for various things. People bring to build football field, basketball team and once funds become available we approve them.

Journalist: The one with John Pollard is suspect, though.  seeing that he is a contractor, someone who is expected to be making a lot of money, what kind of Community Assistance would he need?

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez

It’s not community assistance. He brought in a proposal to do a clean-up campaign. Not contracts those are community projects so they need to bring in a proposal.  

Journalist: And this cleanup campaign, what did that entail? why did he need 6200.00 ?

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez:

Well as far as his proposal is that is for getting trucks, and stuff to clean up garbage in a specific area on the Jane Usher Boulevard area I think so, I think that is what the proposal is for.

Journalist: Minister can’t other entities of the Government or other municipalities do the work? Why must he be given monies from your ministry to do such work?

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez:

Because it’s a project proposal…

Journalist: Proposal? but it was Approved, right?! But its a Smart Stream payout!

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez:

if you see if you see… Let me say this, that if the approval don’t fall in terms of the pervue and the description as the proposal, the ministry and Treasury will not approve it .

In an interview yesterday with the leader of the opposition Johnny Briceño he mentioned that the fact that it was none other than Boots Martinez’s mom who was one of the directors of housing for the poor. Minister Martinez did not deny the allegations but instead tried to distance himself from the 2008 formed housing for the poor

Journalist:

In particular the one that points to the paperwork for ‘Housing for the Poor’, having your mother, Martha Davis as a director?

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez:

That is the first error on the paper as I checked it out this morning and I asked him . Housing for the Poor has a Board of directors. As far as I know Housing for the poor existed since 1995. The first problem when they conscious, that it was that it was a registered company and they thought was a NGO group. In 2008 they registered it as a NGO group, Mr Malick and Ms Davis.  At present we are current in terms of the ‘Housing for the Poor’ group and that’s the Board of directors… they have presented everything to the FIU , they have their FIU certificate.  I think we are behind last year as I understand it. But everything here is above board and transparent. 

Journalist: Minister you are saying “We” when it is your mother who is behind it and you are saying you are denying that you have anything to do with it

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez:

When I saw WE, I am a part of this community! We are all a part of the community. I am a part of the Port Loyola community. I support that group. Nothing at all. When I refer to “we” I’m talking about the people of the community, we, I am a part of the community… I support that group since 1995. 

Journalist:

So Minister what about the allegation that there is conflict of interest?

Minister Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez:

There can’t be no conflict of interest when there is a board of directors. The the the the, the group have a board of directors they have their list of members,  everything, they comply with everything like what a NGO group should do. So what is the conflict of interest.?

And as to the comments made by Kirk Lamb that he ferried materials back and forth from several construction sites but that he was never a contractor. Boots says he was not going back and forth with Lamb on this issue

 For me, I am not going down in the mud go fight. I am not going into the mud, I am not going in the Pig Sty to fight only pigs act that way and I will not go to the Pig Pen to fight with no pig. That is the Pig’s ground. He’s going to be happy andI am going to be sad. So at the end of the day none of those transactions or under transactions that I am authorized to carry out, I’ll make no apology for it.  

Journalist:

Dont you believe the FIU should investigate the transactions?

I said to you that it is the purview of any arm of Government to investigate. it’s like I said it comes down to the transaction. Each transaction can stand the light of day unless unless there is collusion and all public officers. It is like what I said. it boils down to what I know in term of the relentless attack on myself as the area representative and as minister. Why? Because of the PUP factor. They believe that they can make a dent in Port Loyola but I’ll tell you, there is no two way about it. I will not be frustrated by dealing with that.

We will have more developments for you in this story coming up in future news casts.

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