Premier knew of Richardson rent debt before appointment
The Premier knew of concerns over the rent arrears of Senator Curtis Richardson by a senior Civil Servant before he appointed Richardson to the Upper House and made him a junior minister, The Royal Gazette can reveal.
E-mails between the Harvey family and Marc Telemaque, the Cabinet Secretary, showed that David Burt was informed about the situation before he sent Curtis Richardson to the Senate in October 2020 and gave him a junior ministerial role at the health ministry while the island was in the grip of the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Richardson has admitted in the Supreme Court that he owed Margaret Harvey, who is in her 70s, $19,000 in rent arrears in the latest twist in a legal dispute that has dragged on for almost two years.
Mr Burt also made Mr Richardson, a taxi driver, the junior national security minister – a brief that covers law and order – and also Senate spokesman on transport.
It was revealed in court that Mr Richardson has only paid $1,400 of the cash owed and that Financial Assistance had made monthly payments of $1,163 for him in September, October, and November 2020.
Mr Richardson was given a notice to quit the property owned by Ms Harvey on March 31, 2020, but did not vacate the premises until the next year.
Ms Harvey told the Supreme Court that the court battle has taken such a toll on her health that she had become ill and her hair had started to fall out.
Her daughter, Margot Harvey, said the family contacted the Premier’s office on two occasions, in May and September, 2020.
Dr Harvey also questioned why an arrest warrant issued when Mr Richardson failed to appear in Magistrate’s Court as scheduled on December 3 last year was not acted upon.
She said: “The Premier was contacted.
“Mr Richardson was given notice to leave our apartment March 31, 2020.
“And he didn’t, – we had lockdown in April, so, obviously he didn’t move, and, so, we contacted the Premier on May 25, via his aide, Marc Telemaque, and he said ‘this is a private matter, not something the Premier can intervene in’.”
Dr Harvey added: “And then we contacted the Premier again via Marc Telemaque on September 1, 2020, to tell them, ’look, now it’s September and we have to take him to court because he is not moving out of our property, he refuses’.
“And, so Mr Telemaque wrote back and he said ‘I’m sorry this is not resolved, I have made the Premier aware, and I expect he will address the matter directly with Mr Richardson in his capacity as party leader’.”