Six senior M&CC officials ordered on leave
Six senior Mayor and City Council officials were yesterday handed letters to proceed on leave by the Ministry of Local Government.
Those who are expected to proceed on leave from Monday are Town Clerk-Yonette Pluck, Treasurer-Andrew Meredith, City Engineer-Gregory Erskine, Personnel Officer —Paulette Braithwaite, Assistant Town Clerk- Harry Munroe and Solid waste Manager-Hubert Urling.
This follows the discovery of fraud within the M&CC. The fraud was revealed through an investigation headed by Keith Burrowes and supported by Ramon Gaskin.
Almost immediately after the public release of the findings, Mayor Hamilton Green submitted a letter to the Ministry of Local Government recommending that the Town Clerk, Treasurer and City Engineer be sent on leave to facilitate a thorough in-house investigation.
However, the Mayor’s request was not granted at that time. In response to that letter, the Minister of Local Government Ganga Persaud had indicated that his Ministry was at an assessment stage and was not going to act until that aspect has been completed.
Persaud said that there must be a comparison between the findings of the investigation to the Town Clerk’s response before any further actions could have been taken.
Yesterday, Mayor Green said that he did not see the need to send all six officers on leave but was prepared to comply with the decision.
According to him, the Deputy Mayor was summoned to a meeting with the Minister at which she was handed the letters.
Greene was adamant that that should not have been the case since “she is not an office assistant.” The Mayor said that the matter should have been dealt with through the personnel department.
Three employees are already slated to take up the mantle of those sent on leave.
Meanwhile, Local Government Minister Persaud said that the police will continue investigations and they will be working closely with Burrowes’ investigative team.
The investigation was sparked by allegations against the Town Clerk and Treasurer by the Auditor General.
The Mayor and City Council has been under investigations many times before.