“I dare any person to come and say that they financed the education of our children.” That’s the response from Urban Development Corporation of T&T (UdeCOTT) chairman, Noel Garcia who denied claims of nepotism and corruption by Opposition Senator, Wayne Sturge.
In a press conference yesterday (Dec 4th), Sturge alleged that Garcia orchestrated millions of dollars in contract in order to fund his son’s education. Referring to 2002, Sturge alleged that payments were made by Pace Construction Services for a total of about TT$130,000 in separate payments, via an official by the name Junior Joseph.
However, while speaking to the media yesterday, Garcia said such allegations were “false, malicious and downright untrue”, adding that the awards of contracts are handled by a tenders committee and his portfolio would never allow him to do so.
A candid Garcia explained, “Categorically, without fear of conviction…my wife and I financed the education of our son as we financed the education of all of our children, at great financial sacrifice.” “To suggest that someone financed the education of my son in exchange for the award of contracts is both an outright lie, absurd and really stretching one’s imagination.”
Sturge, meanwhile, has called on the Integrity Commission to launch an investigation into the matter, which has also been referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Police Service.