The City Council is not accepting the decision by Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud to dismiss the five officers after the findings of a probe by the Audit Office into mismanagement at City Hall.
The matter will be addressed at the next statutory meeting of the council, scheduled for the last Monday in this month, Mayor Hamilton Green said on Wednesday.
The council has received two letters from lawyers representing the workers who were dismissed, Green said, but he did not identify the workers. He noted that he could not elaborate more on the matter.
The termination of services of Town Clerk Yonette Pluck-Cort, City Engineer Gregory Erskine, acting City Treasurer Andrew Meredith, Director of the Solid Waste Management Unit Hubert Urlin, and Accounts Clerk Troy Isaacs “in the public interest,” took effect from December 31, 2012.
Green had earlier told reporters that he was delighted at the action taken by the minister, adding that if it were within his authority this course of action would have been taken a long time ago.
A source told this newspaper that the decision of the council not to accept the minister’s decision stems from their contention that he acted outside of protocol by not sending them the report of the Audit Office for review and to allow the members of the council to decide the requisite course of action to be taken.
Pluck-Cort, Meredith, Erskine and Urlin along with Deputy Town Clerk Sharon Harry-Munroe and Personnel Officer Paulette Braithwaite were sent on leave in July last year, pending the outcome of the investigation, which was triggered by a report on the city’s operations submitted by consultant Ramon Gaskin. Gaskin’s report highlighted “phantom” workers on the city payroll, payments to front companies and the abuse of assets.