Dana Seetahal quits as Law Association president

(Trinidad Express) Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal has, with immediate effect, resigned as president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT), saying she feels as if she was personally under attack.

The resignation comes in the midst of mounting pressure from certain elements within the Council of the Association, and among the general membership, over the disappearance of TT$284,000 from the account of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

At a special general meeting convened at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain on Friday, the Association’s membership agreed to refer the matter to the Fraud Squad for investigation. The meeting was called to discuss the audited financial statements for the period February 1, 2010 to January 31, 2012.

The Council told the membership that it accepted responsibility for the manner in which the Association’s funds and the Compensation Fund were administered and offered their resignations. However, the membership agreed to allow the Council to continue in office until elections are held.

In an e-mail sent to Council members on Sunday at 11.53 p.m. and obtained by the Express, Seetahal said having read “what everyone has to say”, she never considered herself “implicated” in the manner suggested.

“For your information, it is not unusual for persons who have signed cheques, which have been misused, to make reports of such misuse to the Fraud Squad,” Seetahal said.

“There is no conflict in that. Further, every man of Council is potentially a witness. With the resignation of Khemraj (Harrikissoon), who I need remind you was the treasurer, I feel as if I am under personal attack here.

I have, over the last few months, had to deal with public vilification in the media, in Council meetings, in e-mails and even in the coffee shop (at the Hall of Justice) to all and sundry.

I have tried to deal with these with equanimity while organising and presiding over these recurrent meetings of Council. I have tried not to respond in any disparaging way to the personal attacks which, I know, are unwarranted. I have been disrespected on many occasions, the last being Friday when I simply did as was suggested to/requested of me in the preparation of a statement.”

Seetahal said she was quite prepared, out of a sense of duty and the need to do the right thing, to continue, as mandated by the meeting by resolution, until a new Council was installed.

“I now feel that I am unable to do so without losing my own self respect. In the circumstances I tender my resignation with immediate effect and attach a formal letter to that effect.”

In the letter addressed to the general membership, Seetahal said she is now of the opinion that it would be in the best interest of the continued functioning of the Council to resign now.

“While I have made many errors, I know I always acted with integrity in my capacity as president as I have done in my 33 years in the practice of law.”

Attempts to reach Seetahal yesterday were unsuccessful.

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