‘No other Mayor held accountable’ for similar actions – Chase-Green continues testimony at COI

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Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green has defended the council’s decision not to allow a debate of the No-Confidence motion against Town Clerk, Royston King.

The Mayor resumed her testimony Wednesday before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into City Hall and stated that she is not aware of a single case where other Mayors were held accountable for similar actions.

“I’ve known of no other Mayor that has been held accountable for motions not debated in the council,” the Mayor explained.

Chase-Green has been a part of the council since 1994 and elected Mayor in 2016.

She told the CoI that there has been more than one instance in the past where No-Confidence motions were brought against the previous Town Clerk, Carol Sooba and was dealt with in the same manner.

Sooba, who was appointed to serve by then Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Norman Whittaker, has had five no-confidence motions tabled against her.

Unlike the no-confidence motion against King where he is accused of mismanaging the City’s funds, allegations against Sooba surrounded incompetence.

Sooba now sits on the Local Government Commission which established the CoI to investigate City Hall.

Chase-Green threw out the motion against King on March 12, 2018, after the Council voted not to debate it following legal advice that King provided in response to the motion.

The legal advice was provided by King’s personal lawyer, Maxwell Edwards, who had asked for changes to be made to the motion since it imposed disciplinary actions against the Town Clerk – action that the council is not authorized to enforce.

During her testimony, the Mayor sought to convince the CoI that Attorney Edwards is also retained by the Council.

The Mayor explained to the CoI that former Deputy Mayor, Sherod Duncan, who had tabled the motion, refused to make any changes to the motion, hence why it was put to a vote.

But Chair of the CoI, Justice Cecil Kennard, maintained that the Mayor should have sought independent legal advice before the matter was taken to the council.

He also maintained that the Town Clerk should have recused himself from the matter.

In response, the Mayor said she would have asked the Town Clerk to recuse himself if the motion had to be debated.

The Town Clerk is set to testify again on Friday after his attempts to halt the Commission on Monday was overruled.

 

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