Reinstatement of Duncan: Board Chair, other members signal intention to resign


The Chair of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Chronicle, Geeta Chandan-Edmond and two other members have signalled their intentions to resign immediately after Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo instructed the Board Chair to reinstate former General Manager Sherod Duncan.

The staff of the Guyana Chronicle were informed Tuesday of the resignations of Board members Hilbert Foster and Mervyn Williams, M.P, along with that of the Chair.

When contacted by the News Room, Williams confirmed his intention to resign.

“I did signal to the management that I will be removing myself from the Board. The Board made a decision [to dismiss Duncan] and the decision was based on due process; it was fair and transparent and having regard of the decision to overturn, I have no alternative to remove myself,” Williams told the News Room.

According to Williams, the Prime Minister did not consult the Board or informed them of his decision to reinstate Duncan.

Williams said the Prime Minister’s decision was “clearly a surprise.”

Efforts made by the News Room to contact Mr Foster proved futile while Chandan-Edmond did not want to comment at this time.

The Prime Minister instructed the Chair of the Board of Directors via a letter to rescind the dismissal of Duncan.

The Board of Directors of the Guyana Chronicle took a majority decision in April to fire Duncan after an audit report found over 20 transactions that did not follow financial regulations.

News Room reported that three directors voted against firing Duncan while three voted in favour.

The deadlock was broken when Chair of the Board cast her vote in favour of dismissing Duncan.

But in his letter to the Chair on Tuesday, which the News Room has seen, the Prime Minister made it clear that he received information from Directors of the Board that there was no vote put to the meeting and any “statement to the contrary is wholly false.”

Sherod Duncan

“What now remains is a glaring question of procedural irregularity in arriving at the decision to terminate Mr Duncan. It should be clear that asking members of the Board their views on a situation does not amount to a vote,” the Prime Minister said in his letter to Chandan-Edmond.

The Prime Minister went to state in his letter that “making a unilateral decision to terminate Mr Duncan was arbitrary, capricious, unlawful and in excess of the jurisdiction of the Board.

“Further, I am concerned that you have misled the Office of the Prime Minister with the erroneous claim that the Board of Directors came to this decision.

“It is clear that you deliberately sought to terminate Mr Duncan without following prescribed procedures and further, misleading this office.”

In arriving at his decision, the Prime Minister said in his letter, “In the premises, I cannot rely on your advice that the termination of the service of Mr Duncan accords with the due process and procedural fairness and instruct that that decision be rescinded.”

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