Dillon Demanded Cash Instead of Check, Legislative Sources Hint -Say “Full Disclosure” was Fulfilment of Threat

In his characteristic show of transparency and openness, Monsterrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon announced through social media on June 10 that he had received US$15,000 from the Senate via the Ministry of Finance for “Legislative Engagements/Projects”. The news however created a huge outcry from the general public as well as the opposition camp, with even ANC political leader Alexander Cummings blasting the legislators for spending money to take care of their own political interests, while forgetting to provide for the livelihood of those at the bottom who need to be helped the most, especially when the country faces serious threat from Covid-19. Against the backlash of such condemnations, Senator Dillon during a presser held Tuesday, June 15 at the Capitol Building apologized to the Liberian people and announced that he would turn the money over to the appropriate government agency (LACE) to undertake the construction of a public library for Monsterrado County. But as The Analyst has been reliably informed by legislative sources close to key opposition lawmakers, Senator Dillon did not announce his receipt of the $15,000 out of transparency, rather, to make good on his threat of exposure of $15,000 if his demand to receive cash instead of check was denied.

Making the disclosure to this paper, the legislative sources said Senator Dillon had informed his colleagues that he would prefer receiving his share of the US$15,000 in cash rather than a government check. “If he wanted transparency, why would Senator Dillon ask to be given the money in cash rather than check?” the highly placed legislative official asked rhetorically.

Our sources further went to say that Senator Dillon had released receipt of the $15,000 on social media to make good on his threat to his colleagues that he would make full disclosure if he did not receive his share in cash instead of a government check.

The sources further said it was rather the pressure from the public that forced Senator Dillon to concede that he would give the $15,000 to LACE to construct a public library for the people of Montserrado County.

“How did he come up with the idea of a public library for Montserrado? Did he hold consultations with his constituents to determine the urgent needs of the people?” our source wondered.

When this paper contacted an opposition lawmaker to corroborate the disclosure from the legislative sources, the opposition lawmaker, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Senator Dillon had indeed demanded cash instead of government check for receipt of the US$15,000.

“It’s no secret that Dillon demanded cash. He’s out there playing saint when he knows his hands are not clean,” the lawmaker informed this paper.

LACE Backs Off from “Public Library” Construction Request

Meanwhile, the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) says it will not be part of the construction of a public library for Montserrado County after Senator Dillon had conceded to turn over the controversial US$15,000 to the agency.

LACE, in a press statement issued Wednesday, June 16, 2021, said it is unable to take receipt of the US$15,000 check.

The Agency said it wishes to inform Senator Dillon and apprise the public that the regulations governing its operations and statutes do not allow it to carry out individual projects for legislators outside the structures of an MOU signed between itself and the Legislator and in line with budget appropriations or budget process.

“LACE would carry out such a project as part of the budget 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 nation’s premier community empowerment agency stated.

All efforts by this paper to contact Senator Dillon through our reporter to comment on our legislative sources’ allegation proved futile as the senator’s phone remained switched off at the time of our call. Our reporter also left a text message on his phone with the hope that the Senator Dillon will return his call after seen the text.

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