A curious case of conflict of interest at City Hall; Mayor Wagner pushes back

A curious case of conflict of interest at City Hall; Mayor Wagner pushes back

The Belize City Council has signed off on a contract for Gel Quarry Company Limited. The Mayor of Belize City, Bernard Wagner confirmed this today in an interview with the media. While we are still not sure of the exact figure, one report says it’s over a million dollars. The company is to provide services in the low-lying parts of the Old Capital, specifically vulnerable communities such as the Gungulung area. The curious problem with this contract is that it appears to be a conflict of interest. Why? Councilor Edmund Kwan sits on the council and it was reported that he was a shareholder in the company. Mayor Wagner pushed back on the criticism that this is a conflict of interest. Here’s what he had to say.

According to Kwan’s LinkedIn profile, he’s the manager of the company. The Mayor confirmed today that when the council was voting on whether to greenlight the contract, Kwan participated in the vote. However, the mayor said that the council was satisfied with the contract. Here’s how he put it.

Up to news time, Kwan’s profile still listed him as a manager of the company for the past four years and five months. The company, according to that profile, says the company operates at Mile 14 on the George Price Highway and deals in landfill and heavy equipment.

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