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CTV-3 has been sitting on a major story coming out of Town Hall, as a well connected political crony hired at the Council has been accused of corruption. Two weeks ago, our newsroom got hold of a document written by a private businessman making some very serious allegations against Carl Westby, who is the Revenue Collector for Town Hall. The document is entitled – harassment and bribery request by Carl Westby – and in it a businessman known as ‘Mr. Alex’ claims that in March 2011, he was approached by Westby who offered to secure a building permit for him. According to Mr. Alex, he paid Westby $1700 to secure all necessary permits for him, including the building permit. But that’s when his problems started, since Westby allegedly kept coming back for more money, threatening him if he didn’t pay up. Orange Walk Town Councilor Keven Bernard learned about the situation recently and spoke to us about it.

Screen_shot_2011-07-18_at_10.41.01_PMKevin Bernard – PUP Councilor – OW

“Last week Saturday I was called by one of the employees who works for the gentleman saying that Mr. Alex would like to lodge a complaint to me because it seems he has been complaining before at it has been falling in deaf ears. I went to see the gentleman and there is where he started to give me the details as to what really transpired between himself and Carl Westby. At that point that is where he mentioned to me several revealing information and alarming for a fact. I think we as a council will need to look into it seriously because these are serious allegations and I had asked the Mayor that we call an audience with the gentleman and listen to his views because I don’t want to say it is coming just from me. I have in my hand the official signed letter from the gentleman with his complaint accusing Mr. Westby of bribing him and threatening him and also even involving the police. That for me is quiet serious and we need to take some serious actions into this allegation.”

According to Mr. Alex, the sum requested by Westby was an additional $1200, and after he refused to pay, the harassment got so bad that he complained to Town Administrator Andre Moguel and provided him with details. Councilor Bernard confirmed that when we spoke to him, but told us that the response from Moguel has been surprisingly lax.

Kevin Bernard – PUP Councilor – OW

“As far as I am aware no actions has been taken against him. For me my decision would have been to put him on temporary leave until we get a full investigation into the matter whether it has to go to the court or not and that would have been my recommendation.”

We also spoke to Moguel last week, and his response to us was that Mr. Alex should have known better than to pay any money to Westby. But he could not tell us if an investigation was ongoing, or if there would be any disciplinary action taken against Westby. We do know that up to last Friday, weeks after the complaints made to the Town Administrator, Westby was still acting in his position as Revenue Collector at the Council.

Kevin Bernard – PUP Councilor – OW

“So far I have not gotten any reply from any of the members neither from the administrator nor the Mayor so I have been left in the limbo as to the decision of the council. So far I have not gotten any official response from the Mayor himself as it pertains to the meeting I requested.”

But while the Town Administrator seems strangely reluctant to deal with the allegations made against Westby, Mayor Phillip de la Fuente showed no such hesitation when we asked him about the matter during an interview last week Thursday. He did decline to comment on camera until he concludes an investigation that he is carrying out, but told us that, in his own words, anybody who is found to be a thief will be let go immediately. We have also been told by a credible source that Westby’s days are numbered at the Council as evidence is being gathered against him, but with his political connections, we’ll have to see it happen before we’re convinced.

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