Rawlston Adams resigns as gift-buying scandal widens

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After years of service to the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) Corporation, Rawlston Adams has resigned as the General Manager amid a growing gift buying scandal.

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill confirmed Adams’ resignation on Wednesday morning.

“As I speak, I’m in receipt of his letter of resignation,” Edghill told reporters at Parliament Buildings.

Edghill said a meeting is set between himself, senior management and Chairman of the Board of the DHB Corporation for a hand over at noon on Wednesday.  He said no one has been identified to replace Adams but an interim arrangement will be put in place.

While no one else has resigned or has been fired, Edghill said with these new revelations, there will be significant changes in both the management of the DHB and the operations of the Asphalt Plant.

An audit into the operations of the Asphalt Plant at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara, uncovered that massive misappropriations took place in the spending and management of the state-run entity.

Among the main findings in the report is that Adams authorised the purchase of an $897,000 gold bracelet for himself as a gift; he has reportedly begun repaying for the bracelet.

Meanwhile, further investigations later uncovered that over $500,000 was approved to purchase a tie pin and gold bracelet for the former subject minister, David Patterson. On Monday, Patterson denied that he received any such gift but it was later revealed that a second purchase of a gold band worth over $300,000 was bought for him in 2019.

It was reported in another section in the media, that with Adams under fire, he revealed other purchases which now implicates former minister, Annette Ferguson and several other agencies that fell under the former Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

David Patterson.

Further checks by Edghill and his team revealed that there were other gift-buying purchases for the two Ministers’ birthdays of gold jewellery by other agencies.

Some of these purchases were made as recent as 2020 while Guyana suffered an election impasse.

The police and the Auditor General have been called in to investigate the other allegations that implicate the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Maritime Administration and Transport and Harbours.

All these agencies fell under the control of Patterson and Ferguson during the period 2015 and 2020.

On Wednesday, Patterson declined to comment on the new revelations and told the News Room that he will issue a letter from his lawyer before the end of the day.

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