LGC controversy…claims some Commissioners seeking to cover up wrongdoingsThe Chairman of the Local Government Commission (LGC), Mortimer Mingo, has no authority to remove Commissioners from committee meetings since the Commission is a constitutional body.Commissioner Carol SoobaThis is according to LGC Commissioner Clinton Collymore, who spoke to Guyana Times on Monday in the wake of a fellow Commissioner, Carol Sooba being barred from attending deliberations on City Hall’s Commission of Inquiry (CoI) findings.Collymore pointed out that based on legal advice provided, Mingo unlawfully acted outside of his capacity and they intended to address this matter at the next meeting.“We’re going to raise the matter again when we have another meeting, because they intend to pursue this matter. We have gotten legal advice and we were told that the Chairman doesn’t have that authority and the Local Government Commission doesn’t have the authority to expel a member because it is a constitutional body,” said Collymore.He opined that Sooba was experienced in the Mayor and City Council’s operations and the LGC was allegedly attempting a cover-up. He also hinted that this outcome was linked to a political card, played by the Chairman to dissolve some of the recommendations in the report.Commissioner Clinton Collymore“There are other reasons for this. One of the reasons is that she was at the municipality for a very long time and she has some institutional knowledge as to what is going on and they don’t want that exposed.”Sooba confirmed that she was asked to recuse herself from a particular meeting where those discussions would be convened. She was told afterwards that she could not sit on the meeting to discuss other matters upon the insistence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman Andrew Garnet.In this regard, Collymore stated, “The Commission agreed to recuse her from her matter, but in the interim, it seems as though the Chairman got other advice. He is saying that she has to recuse herself from the entire Commission.”LGC Chairman Mortimer MingoWhen contacted for an invited comment on Saturday, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall also condemned these actions, positing that the CoI would have compiled the findings and the LGC was only responsible for implementing the report. While rejecting the decision to prevent Sooba from sitting at the meetings, the Attorney posited that her presence was essential to her appointment as a Commissioner.“I reject such a notion, because the Local Government Commission is simply engaged in considering the report and possibly, to recommend or implement these recommendations. The Commission is not making any findings. Those findings have already been made by the CoI. I cannot imagine how Sooba’s presence can influence or prejudice,” said Nandlall.“On what basis are you excluding her? The report is already completed. What is going on now is examining the report to determine its implementation. As a duly appointed member of the Commission, if the Commission was assigned that responsibility, then she must play a part,” he was quoted as saying.Disciplinary measures were recommended for senior staffers of the Mayor and City Council with the Town Clerk, Royston King as the chief for gross misconduct. Some of the officers are expected to appear before the Commission next Wednesday.Efforts by this publication to contact the Chairman proved futile, since he was not in office and his phone was unreachable.