Aaron Fraser yesterday became the fourth board member to have resigned since the reinstatement of Chronicle’s General Manager, Sherod Duncan.
Other board members who had already resigned were Board Chair Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Mervyn Williams and Hilbert Foster.
Sources indicated that Fraser yesterday submitted his resignation amidst the controversy that surrounds Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s decision to reinstate Duncan who was sacked in April of this year. Duncan was fired from the Guyana National Newspaper Limited (GNNL) following recommendations from an audit which found that there were several breaches of financial regulations.
Meanwhile, sources have indicated that Duncan is off the job as he was ordered to leave the property since a new board did not reinstate him. That aside, it is said that he was given severance pay, and would need to return that to the company if he is seeking reinstatement
As reported, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in a letter had informed GNNL’s Chairman, Geeta Chandan-Edmond that the unilateral decision to terminate Mr. Duncan was arbitrary, capricious, unlawful and in excess of the jurisdiction of the Board. It further stated that the Chairman misled the Office of the Prime Minister with the claim that the Board of Directors came to this decision to fire Duncan. The Prime Minister had written that the Chairman deliberately sought to terminate Duncan without following the prescribed procedures and had misled his office.
Duncan had served as General Manager of the GNNL from June 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019.
The Board of Directors of GNNL had circulated a statement which indicated that Duncan was dismissed because of his alleged involvement in the financial irregularities.
In a special meeting, directors of the company had decided that numerous breaches identified in the report in all of the areas under review were of a serious nature and disciplinary action against the General Manager was necessary, especially since he was on probation.
According to a statement, one GNNL Director had recommended one month suspension and an extension of probation for Duncan, while two Directors recommended an extension in the probation period, and three other Directors held the view that Duncan’s services be terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct.
It is said that a vote on the matter of Duncan’s termination was tabled and three Directors voted against, while three voted in favour. There was a tie and the Chairman Geeta Chandan-Edmond supported the termination of Duncan in accordance with Article 94 of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation.
A special audit ordered by the Office of the Auditor General had found numerous violations during the short three-month period under Duncan’s stewardship of the company.
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