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.
A Letterkenny man wrote bogus cheques for almost €90,000 and used some of the money to go on a luxury holiday to Egypt with his wife.Businessman James McErlane appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court today charged with a number of sample charges of fraud.The court was told that McErlane, of 48 Whitethorn Close, Letterkenny, had three bank accounts with Allied Irish Bank, Permanent TSB and National Irish Banks in Letterkenny. He wrote two cheques – one for €73,536 and another for more than €16,000 and lodged them into the Allied Irish Bank account.He then withdrew various amounts of cash between 2003 and 2008 – 29 in all – to the value of €6,725.84 using a laser card.The money was spent on a wide-range of goods and services including paying insurance, buying groceries and children’s toys.Mr McErlane also spent more than €1,600 with Gallagher’s Travel Agency for a holiday to the sun-kissed resort of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.The accused claimed he was not trying to defraud the AIB out of money and that they had always cleared his cheques.He said he was waiting for a number of investments to come through and they would be worth up to €1 million.His claimed the investments were due to mature in October this year and that he will be able to pay back the AIB the money owed.He stressed that his wife knew nothing about the large cheque lodgements.McErlane admitted to Gardai that he had lodged personal cheques but did not have sufficient funds to cover them.Judge Donagh McDonagh said McErlane was “up to his eyeballs in crime” and said “it must be very cold in Donegal in November.”However he said he would like to see the claims of the investments valued at up to €1 million by the accused.He adjourned the case until Thursday to allow McErlane to bring documentation to show it will mature in October.He also instructed the accused to bring the person with whom he has the investment with to court.DONEGAL MAN LODGED €90,000 IN BOGUS CHEQUES AND WENT ON LUXURY HOLIDAY was last modified: May 1st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cheque booksfraudJames McErlane