ST. VINCENT:- Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has called for the resignation of Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan and her husband, Desmond Morgan, chairman of the state-owned Roads, Buildings, and General Services Authority (BRAGSA).
Eustace made the call Friday night, Sept. 24, during a New Democratic Party (NDP) rally in Petit Bordel.
It is the latest development in an ongoing saga involving the Morgans and the National Commercial Bank (NCB), of which Mr. Morgan is a former chairman.
The High Court, in May, ordered Mr. Morgan, proprietor of Blue Skye Communication (SVG) Ltd., to pay the NCB EC$2.251 million as repayment for loans and interest accumulated.
According to the May 19, 2010 High Court writ, EC$2,001,143.09 is to be paid for the amount claimed, along with interest at 9 per cent on EC$1,530,551.29.
The company also has to pay interest at 10.5 per cent on EC$225,000 and a further 10 per cent interest on EC$225,580 along with other miscellaneous fees, totalling EC$2,251,991.62. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
The Morgan had guaranteed the loans, taken in Oct. 2006, with three parcels of lands at Calder, including a 39, 545 sq. ft. parcel on which their family home is built, Searchlight newspaper reported in July.
The Attorney General was not included in the lawsuit the NCB brought against her husband and his business.
“We didn’t know that the man’s house and land, his family home, his own family home, was part of the $2 million. So, he wasn’t even paying his house mortgage. It wasn’t just the company Blue Skye. His house mortgage — the money he has to pay on his home — that was tied up in the $2 million,” said Eustace, a former prime minister.
“… [T]he house in which they live is signed for, both by the Attorney General and himself (Mr. Morgan). But the Attorney General’s name was not there on the lawsuit that the bank brought. And we want to know why. Because she is part-owner of the family home, but they never said that. They left out her name. They covered that up. But they can’t cover up no more. It’s outside here for everybody to see,” Eustace said.
“…Now that that we have the information, I am calling for the Attorney General of this country to stand down and resign from office,” Eustace said. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
“Yo’ can’t have the chief law officer of this land — the chief law officer — having a mortgage with an institution and not paying it,” he added.
He said persons, including minibus operators, have lost their properties because they owed smaller amounts of money to the bank.
“They (the Morgans) owe over two million [dollars] and they are not paying any thing. Yo’ can’t have that. It is wrong. It cannot be tolerated and I am saying the Attorney General must resign from office,” Eustace said.
“She is responsible as the guardian of our laws and that kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated,” he added.
He said he will issue the call again on Monday during his weekly appearance on his party’s New Times programme on Nice Radio.
“I did not do it before. We were doing some research. The research is now completed and I call again tonight for the Attorney General to resign from office and for her husband to resign as chairman of BRAGSA,” Eustace said.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, speaking after the court judgement, said the loans to the Morgans were secured to the tune of EC$4 million.
He said a proposal was mooted, in which lands owned by Morgan would have been vested in a new company – Omega Development Limited — and the NCB would be offered $2 million in shares in that company.
The proposal was not followed through on and the court judgement was to “make the surety of the legal mortgage doubly sure”, Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves said in July that Mr. Morgan was removed from the chairmanship of the NCB in 2008, when the government learnt that he was not servicing the loan.
Gonsalves, however, told Parliament in 2008 that Morgan had done such a good job at the NCB that he had asked the businessman to leave the “the prestigious work” to be chairman BRAGSA.