15 February 2013

Liberia: Rep. Forh Wants Mont. Supt. Play Recording

Amidst speculations in the media that Montserrado County Superintendent, Mrs. Grace Kpan has an alleged audio recording that Montserrado County Rep. Edward S. Forh was heard on the tape soliciting for inducement from the account of the County Development Fund (CDF) and that the lawmaker has openly challenged Mrs. Kpan to play the recording so that the public can authenticate the allegation.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday in his capacity as Chairman of the Montserrado County Caucus shortly after his regular session at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, Rep. Forh described the alleged recording as a smear campaign and a signal to blackmail the caucus.

Rep. Forh explained that in February 2012, he confronted Supt. Kpan on the high cost of school and clinic projects, the amount of US$1.6m brought over from the 52nd Legislature.

Consistent with his intent to safeguard the people's money, Rep. Forh said he canceled the purported projects to be changed as evidenced in the June 20,2012 County Council Resolution.

On Tuesday, April 16, 2012, Forh said that Supt. Kpan authorized a check of US$12.000 against the New Kru Town Library project when he accidentally discovered the check at the ECO Bank Vai Town Branch, where she told him it was meant for fast and prayer day. At that moment, Rep. Forh said he objected and had the check voided.

The Montserrado County Legislative Caucus Chairman indicated that his constant refusal to object to Supt. Kpan to aid her in her exploits has led to a campaign to blackmailing him in an alleged illegal recording.

"My position is that she should come forward and play the recording and not use others to do so. Instead of the Supt engaging in smear campaign, let her concentrate on dealing with her issues of corruption including the US$261,620 squandered from the China Union Social Development Fund for Montserrado County, the West Point District Development Fund she divided with the contractor against the advice of the caucus and the PMC and the US$50.700 squandered from the Montserrado Escrow account among others," Rep. Forh stated.

It may be recalled that last month the Plenary of the House of Representatives sounded a strong warning to Supt. Kpan concerning the restitution of a US$50.739.50 withdrawn from the forestry concession fund of the county and the placement of all funds belonging to the county into a single account as well as ensuring the payment of all scholarship fees within a period of one week that was given her. She was also mandated to retract the suspension letter issued to the Project Management Committee Chairman, Mr. Patrick Moore.

The Supt. was summoned based on a complaint filed against her by Rep. Thomas Fallah of District #5 Montserrado County that she has refused to implement the resolution passed by the County Development Council on the expenditure of the County Development Funds from 2009-2011.

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