Cabinet Removes Belize Airport Authority from Castro’s Portfolio, Asks Directors to Resign

vlcsnap-2014-01-23-09h52m37s80Today, Cabinet made the decision to remove the Belize Airport Authority from the Junior Minister’s portfolio and request that the Directors of the Authority step down.

In a release today, Cabinet states that the resolution came after thoroughly discussing the “highly publicized matter of cheques issued by the Belize Airports Authority (BAA) to politically assist Minister Hon. Edmund Castro.”

Assisted by an informal report, submitted to it by the BAA, Cabinet determined that only three cheques were issued in the personal name of Minister Castro.

vlcsnap-2014-01-28-19h58m06s26According to cabinet, one of those was for per diem in the course of the Minister’s official travel on BAA business, another was for assistance in burying the Minister’s mother, and the third was to pay for assistance with sports in Belize Rural North.

Cabinet asserts that the other cheques, not in Castro’s name, but issued to help the Minister in his constituency, did not amount to even a quarter of the seventy alleged by the Opposition.  Therefore, after consideration, and hearing from Castro himself, Cabinet released the following

“Cabinet was of the view that while there was nothing illegal in the actions of either the BAA or the Minister, there was poor judgment leading to a perception of abuse of authority on both sides. In light of this, the Prime Minister took the following decisions:

The portfolio of Civil Aviation, which includes the Belize Airports Authority and over which Minister Castro exercised day to day jurisdiction, will be removed from the Ministry of Transport and placed with the Ministry of Tourism.”

In addition “The Solicitor General and the Financial Secretary will meet with all Statutory Bodies to review operational protocols and advise on proper administration and the current Directors of the BAA will be asked to resign.” 

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