Mayor Michael Belnavis has labelled as ?bad-mind? detractors who have mounted a withering campaign against him since news broke of the reported $46m COVID-19 expenditure on sanitising the town of Ocho Rios and the $80,000 charging port installed at the municipal office to charge his Porsche motor car.
At a press conference at the mayor?s office on Tuesday, Belnavis also hit out at Opposition Spokesman on Local Government and Community Development Natalie Neita, charging that she was ignorant of municipal legislation. The embattled Ocho Rios division councillor and chairman of the St Ann Municipal Corporation has threatened legal action, claiming he was libelled by Neita?s utterances.
Belnavis tried to distance himself from the multimillion-dollar controversy, claiming that he was not part of the procurement process and had no details on the matter.
But he said that since controversy erupted over the project bill, he and chief executive officer of the corporation, Rovel Morris, decided to withhold payment for the project until the matter is fully investigated.
Morris is reportedly on leave after appearing at a parliamentary committee last week to answer questions relating to the two issues.
Belnavis made it clear yesterday that he believed that there were sinister motives at play behind the public backlash.
?I believe there is a little bad mind there. When I spoke to the minority leader in the council, I said, ?You?re being bad-mind about this particular one and you guys have a history of being bad-mind.?