Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ashworth Jack Muti Million $$ House Completed in One Year

Ashworth Jack Mansion Located in Mt.St.George Tobago

Many Tobagonians are questioning a multi-million dollar house recently built for cash by Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Ashworth Jack on lands for which he has no deed.

Word is that the two storey house was a 'gift' from a construction firm in Trinidad which would have secured several million dollar contracts from the People's Partnership government. Word is that Jack's house comprises of eight rooms, a 25ft by 12 ft swimming pool, a gazebo, a kitchen, living room, dining room and library.

However Jack dismissed these claims stating "I am not hand-to-mouth," he said. "No construction firm from Trinidad built my home for free for me."

Jack, the Assemblyman for the Providence/Moriah/Mason Hall area, is the main challenger to incumbent THA Chief Secretary Dr Orville London in the January 21, 2013 THA elections.

London faces political scrutiny and possibly legal investigations over the controversial $134 million Milshirv Complex, brokered through a Build, Own, Lease, Transfer (BOLT) arrangement.

Jack confessed that the six acres of land on which his house was completed were not "fully" his. "The final transfer of the land is being completed right now," he said, adding that the land belongs to Tobago businessman Allan Warner. 

Warner confirmed Jack's story stating that Jack made several down-payments for the parcel of land , with an initial payment of $100,000 on the $1 million dollar parcel of land 12 years ago, and two subsequent monthly payments totaling $20,000. So in total, he made a payment of $120,000 with a balance of $880,000 on the land on which his palatial residence now stands.

The house was started in late 2010 after the People's Partnership came into power and was completed in 2011.
Warner also confirmed that Jack told him about one month ago, that the transfer would be settled soon.

When Jack asked about financing he stated that "My house was constructed by my brother Curtis Jack of CJ Construction, a company I have worked with for years. "And for all those who are asking questions, I work four jobs to build my house…my family has three businesses, one of which is AJ Rentals, which deals with the rentals of any and everything and also a store called 'Splurge City' which sells accessories. I also work as a project manager in Trinidad," he said, but refused to name the firm for which he works.
" …In short, I make money," he added.

Some persons have placed the value of the house within the vicinity of $4 million, Jack stated it was built at a cost of $2 million. Contributing to the cutting down of costs was Jack's effort in the plumbing and electrical works.

"I do all the plumbing and electrical work...we don't pay for that. All I paid my brother was a salary," he said.

Jack stated that the processes surrounding the construction of his palatial residence were above board, nothing that he would have declared to the Integrity Commission the presence of materials for the house since 2008.

Jack further told the media that one source of his income was from pumpkin and cucumber sales. "At one time, before I started building on the land I used to plant pumpkin and cucumber on that land, so while it is a source of income, it's not the only source," he said.

He admitted that at one time when he worked at the THA it was difficult to build his home but explained: "That changed when I got a job as a project manager with a company in Trinidad."

Speaking elatedly about his new home, Jack, a father of two daughters, one of whom is studying medicine while the other is pursuing business studies, said his home was not built in the traditional square but circular style.

"It has four bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, library, swimming pool and gazebo. I make no apology for building my family a nice home," he said.

Jack said like most Tobagonians, he plants all his seasonings, and vegetables adding, "I plant every banana and every dasheen that I eat...My favorite meal is dasheen and salt fish or steamed fish. "I am not a steak and lobster kind of person. I make no apology for that. I have two children, two girls, and whenever they come home on weekends, they work in the family businesses."

Jack in a bid to further justify his elaborate abode stressed his point by saying "As I said, I have a job as project manager, I work hard that is how my family live, we all help each other. I do not want to call the names of the companies for which I work."

Asked whether he had secured bank loans to finance his home, Jack said he had not.

"I receive a salary of $35,000 a month as a project manager, and I entered an arrangement to pay the entire salary towards the materials to construct of my home." "I am not hand to mouth," he said. "I don't have a care what people say," he said, adding that the architectural design for his home was done in 2000.

Having moved into the home about two months ago, Jack boasted that every room in the house had a spectacular view of the sea.

Jack faces a tough battle in his constituency from the People's National Movement's candidate Sheldon Cunningham. However, Jack believes that his astute management of his finances in building his house without going to the bank put him in good stead to run the affairs of the THA.

"I understand how to use money wisely…that's why I believe I can be Chief Secretary," he said.

TOP has currently named all 12 Candidates for the Upcoming Elections.

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