A judge in New York has issued an order demanding former Grenada Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell and his wife, Marietta Mitchell to appear before him on February 18, 2013 to answer questions in connection with their failure to pay thousands of dollars to a former employee.
The ruling was handed down on Tuesday morning by Judge Larry Martin in a court in Brooklyn, New York, located on the 7th Floor on 360 Adams Street.
THE NEW TODAY was able to obtain a copy of the document that was filed by Rodge Jones, a relative of the former Prime Minister in connection with the huge sums owed to him for looking after their multi-million dollar apartment building in Brooklyn since 1982.
This newspaper understands that Dr. Mitchell and his wife signed an agreement with Jones agreeing to pay him 5% of the value of the property at the end of his contract in the form of a gratuity payment and for holiday pay.
Jones was contracted to perform a host of tasks including the collection of rent from tenants occupying the building and to do all the necessary maintenance work on the property.
According to a well-placed source, the monies allegedly owed to Jones based on the agreement could be in the vicinity of EC$1.08 million.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Mitchell’s had offered to pay Jones US$200,000.00 in a one-off payment but he turned it down on the grounds that it was insufficient.
The source said that former Prime Minister Mitchell and his wife are alleging in defense documents filed in the case that Jones violated the terms of the contract on the grounds that he engaged in work that was not authorised.
The law firm of David Morisset, P.C. on Church Avenue in Brooklyn has been retained by Dr. Mitchell and his wife to look after the interest of their apartment buildings known as MK Manor, LLC.
The source who attended the court hearing spoke of the judge showing signs that he was not happy with the failure of the Mitchell’s’ to appear in his court for recent sittings to answer the charges being leveled against them by Jones.
He said the judge in the order issued indicated that ex-Prime Minister Mitchell and his wife would only be excused from attending the February 18 hearing if there was a hurricane or snow storm in New York.
In the circumstances, he set aside March 6 as the alternative date for Dr. Mitchell and his wife to appear before him in the Rodge Jones case.
It is not the first time that Dr. Mitchell has been summoned to defend himself in a New York.
When he was Prime Minister, the ex-Grenadian leader was successful in getting the U.S Justice Department to exonerate him from prosecution on the grounds that he was the head of a sitting government.
That matter related to an attempt made by U.S citizen, Charles Howland to recover certain monies from Dr. Mitchell that he received from imprisoned fraudster, Eric Resteiner in June 2000 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Howland and dozens of persons were defrauded of over 40 U.S million by Resteiner who was appointed to serve as a Grenada Ambassador during the rule of the former New National Party (NNP) administration.