Barrack expects to be paid next month
After nearly eight years of waiting to be paid by Government, contractor Al Barrack expects the court-ordered debt of more than $70 million to be settled by July 7.
Speaking against the backdrop of an announcement by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite that Jamaican Shanique Myrie would be paid this week the US$38,620 ordered by the Caribbean Court of Justice, Barrack told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that the High Court would meet on July 7 to hear his matter and he expected a settlement then.
Since 2006, Government was ordered to pay Barrack what was then $34 million for his part in completing the National Housing Corporation’s Warrens Officer Complex.
Barrack had also been threatening to take over the building and sell it to recoup his money, but had not followed through. Now he is saying again:”I think I am going to take the building. That’s how I am going about it now,” Barrack warned.
“We are working on that [settlement]. We going back on the July 7. We haven’t met for more than a year, yuh know. So we going back on the seventh after that we put some things together, get some information together. We going back on seventh; so I think by then, it should be done,” pointed out Barrack.
Added the contractor: “They never said they are not going to pay me the money, yuh know. I told then to sell the building and pay me the money, because I would prefer that. But they never said they wasn’t paying me. They was playing the fool. What they was doing was keeping back the whole thing. That is what they was doing. I would love to get that money though. I would love to get it; that’s the truth.”
Two years ago, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler promised that the legal battle with Barrack would end “very shortly” and that it was “forward of $62 million”. When asked to say how much money was now owed to him, Barrack declined to put a specific figure or even an estimate. However, Barbados TODAY understands that it is going to cost taxpayers in excess of $7,000 more in interest every day the debt remains unpaid.
In November 2008, Barrack received a $2.5 million payment from the late David Thompson administration. Two years later, the contractor turned down a proposal to pay him $45 million. In October 2011, Sinckler told a Press conference that negotiations were “fairly advanced” aimed at settling the matter by the end of that year.