Nov 16, 2017 News
Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green believes Town Clerk, Royston King, misled the Council when he took the administrative decision to fire the Lance Corporal who is accused of having sex with a detained male juvenile at City Hall and the witness, a Corporal, who reported the matter.
Speaking for the first time publicly on the matter, the Mayor addressed Councillors at an Extra Ordinary Statutory Meeting on Tuesday. She claimed that she will not be an accessory to a crime that she knows nothing about.
During the meeting, it was clear, based on preliminary revelations, that there are systemic challenges within the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to investigate such matters.
The Mayor said that she initially ordered a report on the incident which occurred on August 22, last, in the Enquiries Office of the City Constabulary, located at Regent Street. She claimed to be astonished when three weeks after ordering the report, she read in the “Dem Boys Seh Column” of the Kaieteur News that the ‘Mayor and the Town Clerk’ took child abuse to a next level.
She then again made a further request for the report.
During the meeting, the Mayor sought to shift blame for the fiasco which has engaged the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan. It was agreed that King take another administrative decision to reinstate the city officers and then have them proceed on administrative leave, which would allow both men to be paid pending the outcome of the investigations.
The Council has faced increasing criticisms especially since the alleged witness to the sex act was also fired.
“I am concerned and I am very concerned and as you [King] know you and I had big beef over the matter. I don’t like to renege on some decisions that I have agreed with and taken. In the first instance, when I received your letters, I did call you and I said to you I was not satisfied, this is the way we should go,” the Mayor revealed.
She recalled that King advised that he had the power administratively to dismiss both men. The Minister in his letter made it clear that the officer who witnessed the incident must be given a hearing as part of due process.
“I bowed to your wisdom then, but it is with a heavy heart that I have to bow to the Minister. Something I don’t like doing to take back some decisions that I have made. Please be advised that you [King] would have wrongly advised this Council on this matter when you would have dismissed those persons and I am upset because had you not done that we would have been able maybe by now to complete our investigations,” the Mayor stated.
King said he terminated the two men because the Council was brought into disrepute by reason of the particular incident that was continuously reported in the press.
“The names of the Mayor and the Town Clerk and now you have other names…those names were dragged through the mud and while that was happening, there appeared to be no end in sight at the level of how this investigation is going at the (Council’s) Committee level,” King explained.
The Mayor said that she is concerned that justice prevails for all three individuals involved in the incident.
MAYOR CALLS FOR CHIEF CONSTABLE FIRING
The mayor noted that the Chief Constable, Andrew Foo, was also to be blamed for the way in which the matter was initially handled.
She said that the Chief Constable knows that once an allegation is made against an officer, the officer is placed under closed arrest and the matter is referred to the national police.
“There were lots of missing links and in the report the investigating officer, in his conclusion, said that the statement made by [Corporal] against the Lance Corporal should be accepted because the Lance Corporal was involved in a matter of such nature before and he is recommending that the Corporal be charged with neglect of duty and the matter be referred to the Legal Affairs Committee,” the Mayor explained.
She stated that the juvenile was picked up on August 17 and was held in custody until August 22 when he was taken to Bourda Outpost. The juvenile was later charged for loitering, but the case was dismissed because it was determined that he should have been charged for wandering.
Instead of the boy being released to a guardian following the court matter, he was brought back to the City Constabulary on Regent Street.
“If the case was dismissed, tell me on what basis was he brought back here to spend the night?” the Mayor questioned. He saw the act and did nothing.
She added, “I had nothing to do with it after I gave out the instructions that an investigation must be done. I was the one who called for the investigation. Not Foo, but people treating Foo as if he is the step child; as if he ain’t got anything to do with this…He got everything to do with it and if anybody should be sent home, it should be Foo,” the Mayor stated.
Several Councillors bemoaned the slowness of the Council’s Legal Affairs Committee to complete their investigation. Councillor Sherod Duncan, who heads the Committee, said that due process must be followed in the investigations
“We have to ensure that as a Council that we never have a repeat of this matter and the kind of lapses that we have systemically on such an issue,” Duncan stated.
The matter is currently with the Guyana Police Force. The Lance Corporal was initially arrested and has been released on bail.
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