July 3, 2022

Antigua: Freeland to resign under weight of auction scandal

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From Antigua News Room

Senator Michael Freeland, who’s name has been embroiled in an auction scandal, said he will resign his post as senator come the New Year.

“I have been concerned of the intense efforts by political opponents to politicise this event…” Senator Freeland said in a press statement.

“I have determined that my family’s good name, long a part of our beloved nation’s history, should not be abused in this unseemly and malicious way. I am today formally advising His Excellency the Govenor General and the president of the senate that I am formally resigning my position as a member of the senate effective 31st December 2017.”

According to the official government story Freeland, also a private auctioneer, conducted an auction on behalf of the Customs department but failed to turn in the $119 866.50 proceeds because he was robbed of the sum. Since then, he has been repaying the sum in installments.

“I am pleased to state categorically that I have made payments in full and to the satisfaction of the Customs department,” the senator’s statement  read.

Freeland said his decision to repay should not be taken  as an admission of guilt but rather his commitment to his fiduciary responsibility as an agent of Customs and his believe that taxpayers should not suffer because of his misfortune.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne was the first to shed light on the issue back in November when he said because of a “serious issue” senator Freeland would not be considered as a candidate for the St John’s Rural East constituency on an ABLP ticket. Browne, however, did not give details.

Coincidentally, Browne’s wife, Maria Bird-Browne has since been confirmed as the candidate for that same constituency.

IMAGE: Freeland

For more on this story go to: https://antiguanewsroom.com/news/featured/freeland-to-resign-under-weight-of-auction-scandal/

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