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Letter Accuses Governor of Corruption

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A district governor in Battambang province was accused of corruption in an anonymous letter received by provincial authorities over the weekend.
Thmor Kol district Governor Kong Ly allegedly used state funds for personal gain, according to the letter addressed to provincial Governor Chan Sophal that was left in central Battambang City.
“The letter accused the Thmor Kol district governor, but it was left by an anonymous person in Battambang’s city center and the provincial police are taking care of it,” Thmor Kol district deputy police chief Eang Sitra said.
The letter identified its sender simply as a representative of Thmor Kol’s civil servants. It accuses Mr. Ly of a litany of offenses including hosting a revelrous, alcohol-fueled party that was paid for with public funds and at which close acquaintances of the governor shouted sexual obscenities.
The letter also accused Mr. Ly and his administration chief, Nork Sinon, of awarding part of a construction contract for a 55 million riel ($13,750) road to the Psar Thmey Company in exchange for so-called “tea money.” The official procedure for awarding such contracts involves a bidding process.
Mr. Ly and Mr. Sinon are also accused of accepting bribes for the construction contract of an as-yet built dirt road worth 15 million riel ($3,750).
Mr. Ly, in response, called the accusations baseless.
“It’s their right to hate me for whatever reason, I don’t know. As the district governor, I have never thought of all those things. That is why as now I am district governor, but I still ride a motorbike. I don’t have a car to ride in. I have worked since 1980, but I don’t even have a square meter of my own residential land,” he said.
“I believe in my good deeds and sin. It is up to the upper-level investigations and whatever decision depends on results. I want my locality to be developed and I want roads to be built. I don’t use those achievements for only my family or any individual, but for all,” he added, saying that he did not know who the letter’s author might be.
Mr. Ly also addressed the accusations that he threw a party on the state’s dime.
“There was a drinking session, but it is once every two weeks to build up solidarity [among close acquaintances] and there was no such case of sexually offensive words being used and shouted out loud. I welcome an investigation and if I am found to be corrupt in using the road budget, I can be moved to anywhere because I have worked around the country for 36 to 37 years,” he said.
Provincial Governor Sophal weighed in on a possible investigation into Mr. Ly.
“As a leader, we will conduct the investigation of the allegations on Monday to find out if the letter is true or not,” Mr. Sophal said, adding that an investigation into the letter’s author would also be conducted.

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