Liberia: LACE to Reject Sen. Dillon’s US$15k for Library Construction; Says It’s Outside Their Scope
Monrovia – Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) has rejected a check of US$15,000 from Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon for the construction of a public library in the County.
The rejection of the US$15k by LACE comes a day after Senator Dillon disclosed that he would turn over the money to LACE after a barrage of public criticism over why he accepted money he once categorized as corruption.
“This is the first time it’s being announced for the public to know about it – that is not the justification for doing wrong if it is wrong,” Sen. Dillon said.
“I like the fact that the barrage of condemnation is being thrown at me, it tells me that the country is looking up to us with the hope that it will use us as a compass for integrity in the public service. Now that it has angered the public, we can now go back on the drawing board to do it better.
“I have decided that as disappointing it may sound to some people, we will not return the money. We will turn the money over through communication to Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment and ask them to work with the office of the Superintendent to find an ideal parcel of land where we will begin the process of a public library,” he said.
But LACE in a letter on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, said that their regulation governing their operations and status does not allow them to carry out individual projects for legislators outside the structures of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) sign between LACE and the Legislator and in line with budget appropriations or the budget process.
“LACE would carry out such project as part of the budget law and once such appropriation is made to LACE through the budget process. Receipt of individual project monies from legislators would be contrary to governance norms to which LACE subscribes and would be a marked departure from LACE’s best practice,” the letter said.
It continues: “We regret to inform the Senator that LACE is unable to take receipt of his (Sen. Dillon) USD15,000 check.”