City Hall’s CoI report…as Commissioner barred from meetingsBy Rupadai SeenarineDeliberations upon the recommendations which were formulated by the Commission of Inquiry into City Hall, has led to controversary with the Local Government Commission (LGC) – a body which is tasked with implementing the recommendations.Guyana Times was told that Commissioner Carol Sooba was asked to recuseCommissioner Carol Soobaherself from one of the sittings which dealt with the recommendation to have her be paid her benefits from City Hall. This publication was told that while Sooba agreed and recused herself from that particular sitting, she was subsequently asked to remove herself from all of the other meetings.After the CoI report was handed over to the Commission, the LGC was responsible for deciding and implementing the findings. Further, it was for LGC to decide whether criminal charges should be filed against employees of City Hall who were found culpable of wrongdoings. However, since November, there has been no development as to what is in store for the local organ body and the public was not briefed on the status of the investigation.When contacted on Friday, Commissioner Carol Sooba related that being a former employee at City Hall, one of the recommendations was that she should be paid her benefits. She confirmed that she was asked by her fellow Commissioners to recuse herself from a particular meeting where those discussions would be convened.While noting that the committee was disgruntled about this recommendation, Sooba said she was told afterwards that she cannot sit on the meeting to discussChairman of the LGE, Mortimer Mingoother matters upon the persistence of the Chairman, Mortimer Mingo and Vice-Chairman, Andrew Garnet. She revealed that she was instructed to remove some of the recommendations from the report as well.“They would have wanted me to take out things from the report…They told me I would have to recuse myself when they have to discuss my benefits and I said that was fine. That’s good but then the Chairman and Vice Chairman insisted that I should not sit through any meetings for the entire report,” the Commissioner explained.As tensions continue to brew among the senior officials of the LGC, Sooba affirmed that she was constitutionally elected as a Commissioner and should be able to perform her duties without any hindrance or interference.“I’m a constitutional office-holder. I am a Commissioner. If I recuse myself from my matter, there is no issue on any other matter that I should recuse myself but for some reason, they want me to recuse myself from the entire thing.”During Friday’s confrontation, there was also a division between Commissioners on whether the she should sit to hear the other matters.“They put out all the officers from the meeting to have a close-door discussion and there was a division. I’m not recusing myself from the meeting. This is not recusing me. This is you’re putting me out of the meeting. For my rights as Commissioner, I cannot function. They have no authority to put me out of a meeting,” she stated.One of the first outlines on the list of recommendations called on the Commission to enforce disciplinary measures against senior staffers of the Town Council with the Town Clerk, Royston King as the chief for gross misconduct.Criminal charges were recommended for King, since he leased lands which are owned by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).Disciplinary actions also followed for the Acting Town Clerk, Sharon Harry Munroe; Internal Auditor, Omadeily Newton; City Constable, Andrew Foo; Human Resources Manager, Paula Braithwaite among other officers at City Hall.Along with the reimbursement of monies to Bourda vendors whose stalls were destroyed, the Commission called for unfixed employees to be placed on the fixed schedule after serving seven years.Contrarily, for contractors and retirees that are owed, the Government was suggested as the way forward in clearing these debts.Pending the outcome from the Commission, King was sent on administrative leave on September 21, 2018.Commencing on September 22, the CoI hosted 15 sittings in which 50 persons testified. The hearings were completed on November 2 and the report was crafted after “herculean” efforts.Guyana Times was unable to contact LGC Chairman, Mortimer Mingo for a comment on the matter.
More importantly, though, it means Pep Guardiola’s City team cannot now be caught at the top of the table, thus handing the Catalan coach his first Premier League crown in just his second year in English football.Realistically it was always a matter of when and not if City would become English champions for a fifth time following a dominant season from the blue half of Manchester.But, just a week after spoiling City’s title party by beating their local rivals 3-2 at the Etihad, the way United abjectly gifted the title to their neighbours will sting.United’s comeback at the Etihad from a 2-0 half-time deficit offered their supporters a rare fillip of flair and excitement after a difficult season where their style of play has hardly endeared Jose Mourinho to the club’s fanbase.And that was also the case on Sunday, as United failed to spark the imagination in any tangible way even though they were playing a side that had hadn’t won in the league since January.West Brom sacked manager Alan Pardew at the start of April after just four months following one win in his 18 matches in charge, but even a famous win at Old Trafford may be too little, too late for the Baggies as they still lie nine points off safety with just four games remaining.United dominated possession early on, but despite the efforts of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, precious little real impact was made by the home side.Lukaku saw one shot cannon back off the face of West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster, while Pogba’s desire to make a difference saw him booked after half an hour for attempting to steer the ball into the net with a very obvious, very deliberate handball.Prompted by the abject nature of the opening 45 minutes, Mourinho brought on Jesse Lingard at half-time and he was immediately in the heart of the action as United attempted to wake from their slumber.West Brom, to their credit, also kept probing forward but they lacked the class required to really open United up at the back.Mourinho attempted to end the stalemate – and the tedium – by introducing Anthony Martial with half an hour remaining and his introduction undoubtedly lifted the quiet Old Trafford atmosphere.Increasingly poor conditions and a general lack of thrust continued to inhibit both sides, but United did force Foster into wonderfully save on 66 minutes when he tipped a Lukaku effort around the post.However, the plucky visitors then sensationally seized their chance when Chris Brunt delivered a corner from the right with 17 minutes remaining. Nemanja Matic panicked at the delivery and headed back inside to Rodriguez, who could not miss from three yards out.United, sensing the impact of the result, threw everything forward but West Brom displayed some new-found defensive fortitude and held on for a famous victory.United will want to forget the result and its significance as quickly as they can.However, the fans of West Brom — and certainly Manchester City — are likely to remember it for quite some time. 0Shares0000West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez celebrates after giving his side a shock lead over Manchester United on SundayMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Apr 15- Manchester City were confirmed as Premier League champions without kicking a ball on Sunday as rock bottom West Brom stunned Manchester United with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.United simply had to avoid defeat to keep the title race mathematically alive, but a late header from Jay Rodriguez gave West Brom a hugely surprising three points and finally gave their fans something to cheer this season. 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)