T&T Opposition Leader regrets meeting Integrity Commission Chairman at home

(Trinidad Express) Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday he regretted the meeting with Integrity Commission chairman Ken Gordon at his home.

Asked whether he regretted the meeting, Rowley told reporters: “In a way I must say yes because I didn’t like the way the meeting created the opportunity for persons to misrepresent it. So from that standpoint I would say yes. But it was interesting the way it was blown up into a parachute for some persons and I have nothing more to say on it.”

Commenting on Gordon’s statement in which he said he did the fair and rational thing, Rowley said: “It is good that he did not resign because by and large I don’t think that the circumstances warranted it.

“I must acknowledge that if I was planning a meeting and if he was planning a meeting with me, it would not have been in that way so as to allow persons to misrepresent and to hype-up the situation with agendas of one kind or the other. So that much we have to acknowledge.

“However, the circumstances around which that development took place, one thing led to another and another and another. Some people were only too glad to blow it out of proportion.”

Noting that Gordon had rejected the sinister interpretations put on the meeting, Rowley said: “I think for one, Mr Gordon had taken the appropriate steps on the day. As the person who asked for the meeting therefore generating its coming into being and accepting the invitation to stop off at his house, given what has happened, I take responsibility for that. Because had I said ‘No, I’ll see you tomorrow’, none of this would have happened in this way.

“Although, rest assured, if I had gone to his office, it is my view that there were persons who would have said ‘you went to the office to influence the chairman’. And when I see some of the extraneous matter brought in about conspiracy and treason and misbehaviour in public office, clearly it matters (to some persons) not where the meeting took place, they would have gone down that road (anyway) because it would have been an attempt to change the conversation.

“So it is clear it required some acknowledgement that things did not go as they should have. But it did not go that badly warranting a resignation (by Gordon).”

Rowley said he understand that there would be a beefed-up commission. New appointees will come next week and the country would have an Integrity Commission and “we go on with the conduct of public business the way it should be”, he said.

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