— Brushes aside ‘bad advisors’, discloses benefits & salary
Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, has out-rightly rejected calls for him to return his official assigned vehicle, saying he will not return the US$40,000 vehicle assigned to him as a senator, arguing that the vehicle is not expensive per his job.
The Liberty Party (LP) lawmaker told members of the Legislative press corps on Tuesday, September 24 that the certified span of the vehicle assigned to him, according to the policy of the government, is three years, after which the government will buy another vehicle for the office of Montserrado Senator.
He argued that during the three years the vehicle supposed to last, it means annually that the vehicle is worth US$13,333, which is not expensive contrarily to the popular belief and perception that the vehicle is luxurious for a senator sitting in office only for a year.
“I will return the car if I am not reelected as a senator in 2020,” Dillon said.
He dismissed those who called on him to return the vehicle as “bad advisors,” and accused others, especially members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), of being responsible for the so-called propaganda.
Dillion argued that, per his position prior to being elected as a senator for Montserrado County, he would have preferred a considerably cheaper vehicle owing to the bad economy, expecting that he would have been given the ‘money’, or the money used, to purchase the vehicle allotted in his name. If that were the case, he said, he would have bought a rather ‘considerably cheaper’ vehicle, and then remit the remaining money to the county.
However, he said, the purchase of the vehicle had been through a meticulous procurement process prior to his being inducted as senator and that, the vehicle is not his to sell and or exchange for a cheaper one.
Political pundits believe that there are more questions than answers to the response from Senator Dillon because, according to them, he should know that with his level of experience as former Chief of Staff (COS) to former House Speaker Edwin M. Snowe and former Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, there is always a policy over the procurement.
“Those of my opponents who say the car is too expensive for me to ride,” Dillon quipped, buy us a US$13,000 vehicle, in keeping with government policy, and present it to our office and we will use it. If government policy is for us to use keh-keh, we will use it, especially if the policy is what we met on the books. And if we criticize the policy that was on the books, we should use our influence — our connections — to change the policy to something reasonable.”
Meanwhile, Senator Dillon has ceremoniously disclosed his allowances and basic salary in the tone of US$15,325 and L$29,700 respectively.
He said the chair on the Senate Ways, Means and Budget, Morris Saytumah, presented to him his benefits and salary on a written paper on Monday, September 23.
According to the breakdown, special allowances are US$10,000; transportation reimbursement is US$3,175, while gasoline is US$2,150; totaling to US$15,325, and when taxes are deducted, the total take home pay is US$12,000.
He said besides the US$15,325, his basic salary is L$29,700.
Besides, Dillion said when payment is made, he would subtract US$5,000, and that the remaining money will be remitted to the county, of which his chief of office staff is one of the signatories to the promised document.
He called on his colleagues to include members of the House of Representatives to emulate his example by cutting their benefits and salaries to support the critical sectors, such as health and education.