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$210,000 due

Griffiths says more than half of money from land sale outstanding

He has stopped short of saying the Speaker of the House should resign. But the man at the centre of the civil dispute with Michael Carrington says he will go as far as seeking an order to seize his assets to get money due to him.

In an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY at his Waterhall Terrace, St James home this evening, John Griffiths said he had waited too long on the attorney-at-law to hand over an additional $210,000 remaining from the sale of his late aunt’s property at Dayrells Road, Christ Church.

Carrington vacated his chair when Parliament resumed sittings yesterday, after Leader of the Opposition Business in the House Santia Bradshaw questioned whether he should oversee proceedings in light of news that he had failed to hand over funds to Griffiths.

Asked this evening whether he wanted Carrington to step down, 78-year-old Griffiths would only say: “I had lived in England for quite some time and if a [matter] like that had happened in England . . . either the prime minister would sack him the next day, or he would resign himself.”

What he was sure about was that he would head back to the High Court to ask the judge to enforce an earlier order that Carrington, who was handling the matter for almost 14 years, hands over all documents related to the case as well as monies due.

John Griffiths says he has been waiting too long for what is rightfully his.

John Griffiths says he has been waiting too long for what is rightfully his.

“I am not quite sure about the procedure. We would have to ask for an order to seize his assets and get our money . . . I want a settlement and I want my funds. That is the most thing that I want. I want that funds in my account so I can pay out the other beneficiaries,” insisted Griffiths, who has been acting as representative for the estate of his late aunt Muriel Worrell.

He said he had only received about $44,950 from Carrington, but approximately $210,000 was still outstanding in relation to the sale of one of the two properties left in the will of his aunt Muriel Worrell.

“[Carrington] was supposed to probate the will and what happened is he got all the assets from my aunt. My aunt had two properties and one was sold. I thought he was going to turn it over to me, but he never did. So at the moment, he has all the assets of my aunt’s properties,” he said.

Griffiths went to the High Court asking for the funds to be handed over. On December 9, 2014, Madame Justice Jacqueline Cornelius ruled in his favour, ordering Carrington to render an account of all sums belonging to the Worrell estate which he had received on Griffiths’ behalf, within 28 days, and pay all monies shown by the same account to be due, along with interest retroactive to May 13, 2014 until payment was made.

Griffiths said he planned to meet next week with his new lawyer, Khamaal A. Collymore, to see if Carrington had honoured the order.

“Up to this day we haven’t had a reply from Mr Carrington,” he said.

“I phone him, I write him, I emailed him many times without any reply. Within the 14 years I used to see him quite regularly but within the past seven years, I would see him about four, five, six times.”

Griffiths said initially it was the probate and not the money from the sale that was the focus of his discussions with Carrington.

However, he said, two other beneficiaries had been breathing down his neck to get the matter concluded and he began to put pressure on his attorney.

“I was going to him and saying, ‘when is it going to come to an end?’ We were just being pushed back, pushed back all the time. The court ordered him to hand over all the documents he had, which we had agreed to two years ago. I decided, ‘well, this is it. You not doing anything, so we taking the business out of your hands and contacting someone else to carry on with the probate to get to the end of the matter’.”

The claimant recalled that back then, Carrington promised to hand over the documents within two weeks.

“That was over two years ago and we have not received any documents and we repeatedly phoned, emailed, went to his officer without any reply,” he charged.

Carrington has declined to comment, yesterday telling Barbados TODAY that he did not discuss his clients’ cases.

8 Responses to $210,000 due

  1. Carl Harper January 15, 2015 at 3:40 am

    In other parts of the world a Speaker would have resigned forthwith in disgrace or be fired by his boss while hanging his/her head in shame; not so in Barbados. Parliament is the highest legislative body in the land and much is expected of those who hold high office. Politicians overseas have destroyed their careers for having a marital affair.

    Though Michael Carrington is under no legal obligation to resign from the Speaker’s chair or political office, he should be guided by his conscience, particularly since he is a stickler for rules, order and ethical conduct in the House.
    Some people would say that a private matter should not affect Carrington’s public office, but both are inextricably linked and it would be difficult to continue in his capacity as a Member of Parliament, especially in his capacity as Speaker with this matter “hanging” over him.
    The media in developed countries would have such a “field day” over a story like this that a parliamentarian would have no choice but to leave public office. Can you imagine Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress, John Boehner, ever being caught with his hand in the “cookie jar?”

    To say that Carrington is demonstrating legal ethics by not discussing his client’s business in the Press is noble. But this has less to do with his client’s business and more to do with an elected public official explaining his actions to the people of Barbados to whom he has a moral duty.

    It matters not that Griffiths lawyer was George Payne of the Opposition BLP, as this has nothing to do with politics but rather to represent his client in a professional manner.
    Now that the court has ruled in favor of John Griffiths, it is left to be seen what disciplinary action, if any, will be taken against Carrington by the Barbados Bar Association once this matter is concluded.
    This is a stressful matter for a 78-year-old senior citizen and wheelchair user to have to go through.

  2. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock January 15, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Get your order to hand over your funds an documents.

  3. Tony Webster January 15, 2015 at 6:05 am

    These Aegean Stables, have been un-kempt for many decades, both pre and post-1966. They need a thorough cleaning-out. Like a root and branch thing. Like the ultimate colon cleanse.
    As a retired banker, I have encountered many examples of less than honourable behaviour by citizens of all trades, (including those who have been admitted to The Bar, and even unto “Silk”) and have oft wondered how we could lock up the “little man”, for a couple “wayward” tins of food ex a supermarket…whilst big fish continue to happily to swim.

    If any good can be found in this particular Nazareth, it is that such cases are now seen by our virtual 1,000-strong army of both the practising and aspiring Attorneys-at-Law, as a signal caution, to remember their oaths on being admitted to The Bar. To understand the real meaning, and to appreciate that the great privileges vested in their profession by our constitution (which arguably elevates them quite unfairly above the common citizen) is matched by a commensurate responsibility to maintain the highest ethical standards. One cannot be a little honest, or partly married, or even slightly pregnant. You either are, or you are not.
    Yes, I shall bare my bosom: I indeed have a first-cousin (formerly) in this profession, whom I once found on the front-page of my newspaper, in “cuffs”, being led into court by an officer of the constabulary…to “face the music”. My reaction was simply: “Serve him right”.
    Verily, and much saddened, and offering anuddder Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

  4. seagul January 15, 2015 at 10:13 am

    A clear case of political corruption and entitlement from the top.
    And on and on this deception and contempt for the poor working class continue.

  5. Adrian Hinds January 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Makes me wonder if Carrington had designs on the Property and funds and was biding his time until after Mr. Griffith had died. Amazing to say the least.

  6. Linda Hoyte January 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    only in Barbados these corrupt thingd happen .

  7. kay-rani rosita January 17, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Not true Linda Hoyte, this kind of corruption is all over the world, just because you may not be aware of it does not mean it does not exist. Perhaps you just have a very low opinion of Barbados.


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