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Shooting suspect Tarique James dismissed from employment by the Leadership Intervention Unit

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Posted: Friday, May 20, 2022. 5:56 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Following a news story on Channel 7 News reported on Thursday, the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU) says it has dismissed Tarique James, accused of discharging a firearm in public during an incident reported last week Saturday, from its ranks.

A statement from the organization issued this evening says that James was terminated by the Belize City Council on April 29 as Sanitation Coordinator, but was picked up by the LIU, as it says, because of his “supportive role in the overall success of the ongoing city-wide cleanup initiative. It was our view that his experience would have served the program well. Thus, the LIU employed him upon his termination from the Council to assist in the management of the cleaning up of the enormous amount of garbage generated by the different workgroups from around the City.”

The LIU says James was paid through May 6 and would have received an additional payment through today, May 20, except they let him go following the May 14 incident. At this time, the Council’s Senior Sanitation Supervisor Leroy Young is receiving a stipend from the LIU for his assistance in clearing up garbage, but he is the only one said to be on “payroll” by the Unit.

So, the Channel 7 story “misrepresents and distorts facts” as it relates to James’ hiring, the Unit says and threatens to put it and the work it does “into disrepute.”

Channel 7’s story suggested that there was “double-dipping” involved in the person of overlapping payments from City Hall and the LIU though Councilor Michael Novelo denied that James or anyone else was and is doing so.

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