City treasurer, other staff to be suspended over ‘money bag’ controversy

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The Local Government Commission has recommended and approved the suspension of six staff at the Mayor and City Council in Georgetown for not depositing revenues collected sometime in June last year.

At a statutory meeting at City Hall in Georgetown on Monday, Town Clerk (acting) Sherry Jerrick announced that the Commission recommended that four employees at City Hall be suspended while two persons were issued warning letters.

It was recommended that City Treasurer (acting) John Douglas be suspended for one month without pay for negligence and dereliction of duties.

Douglas has since denied the charges which stated that he breached standard operating procedures for depositing the revenues collected. The monies which was to be deposited on June 20 last year, was found weeks later in the City’s Chief Constable car.

“Ranging from suspensions for two months to warning letters; Officer Ivor Bryan was suspended for two months, Clerk Sonia Pitt for three weeks, Clerk Yolanda Forde for one month, the Treasurer for one month; Sherlock Lovell Clerk of Markets was issued a warning letter along with the supervisor,” Jerrick said.

While the Commission recommended that Douglas’s suspension take effect from January 13th, Mayor of Georgetown Ubraj Narine opted for the City Treasurer remain at work until the budget was completed in March.

“We are currently doing budget and as the Mayor I don’t believe it is wise to let the treasurer go on his suspension and we have a lot of things to discuss at budget level,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Ubraj Narine

The Mayor’s decision to have the Treasurer’s suspension deferred to a later date was met with opposition from a few councilors; however 16 councillors voted in favour to have the Treasurer’s suspension deferred, two voted against and five abstained.

The Local Government Commission declared that if the City Treasurer is found guilty of similar actions in the future, he will be met with more severe sanctions.

 

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