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.
By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.orgFor those who haven’t stumbled across her rants, raps, skits and famous “B. Simone tone” on Instagram, her improvisational comedy on “Wild ‘N Out” or her music, B. Simone is becoming a name to know and remember. The entertainer with 2.1 million followers on Instagram is now on a nationwide comedy tour that is making a stop in D.C. on Dec. 26, and she is inviting people to come learn more about her and have a fun night of laughs.“It’s about my life, my personal life. My comedy’s about my relationship, sex life, what I’ve been going through with men and it’s just super relatable. And I’ve turned tragedy and heartbreak into comedy,” B. Simone told the AFRO.Instagram and “Wild ‘N Out” star B. Simone will be in D.C. on Dec. 28 at City Winery in Northeast, D.C.The rising star has not always been a comedienne, but she has always been an entertainer.“I come from a background of girl groups and R&B pop singing. So I started off wanting to be a singer honestly. I’ve been in five girl groups. I moved to Atlanta from Dallas to pursue music and acting. And social media is what made me a comedienne,” she said.Even in the earlier days of social media, with sites such as MySpace, B. Simone was active.“I’ve been doing it a long time before Instagram. I’ve been on Instagram for almost four or five years. So it’s not like I just blew up overnight. It took me a while to get to this point, and it’s consistency and constantly putting out content,” she said.However, it has only been recently, through her Instagram fame, that she gained recognition and became a true comedienne.“I started doing ranting videos,” she told the AFRO. “I didn’t even know it was comedy, I was talking to the camera about relatable topics and my followers just thought I was funny. I was just being myself, so they made me a comedienne,” the millennial entertainer explained.This is B. Simone’s first time taking her comedy on the road.“I’ve been on stage with people who have been doing standup for 20, 15, 10 years. I’ve only been doing standup for 11 months. So I’m very new at it, but I have the privilege of growing with my fans,” she told the AFRO.Despite being a neophyte to the comedy game, from the looks of the sold out shows, her first tour is going well.“Almost every single show has been sold out, and it’s just an amazing, amazing experience,” B. Simone said.B. Simone (center) with “You’re My Boooyfriend Comedy Tour,” co-stars Darren Brand (left) and Desi Banks.Although she’s doing well on the road, the path to getting in the door was not easy.“We decided to put on the tour and my manager really fought for me,” she explained. These clubs are like, ‘Who is B. Simone?’… ‘Is it Bruce Bruce? Is it Kevin Hart? Is it DeRay Davis? How is she going to sell tickets?’ And they just had to have faith that my fans are going to come out and support.Simone, who is doing her own promo for the show, thanked Instagram and her followers for her success on and off the road. She isn’t fazed by the haters who question her trajectory, “just because she’s Instagram famous.”“It just shows that you can do anything you want to do. The world is different,” she said. “But I’m going to use my platform to make money. And the world is going to excel and move forward.“I’m going to use it and I’m going to move forward in a positive light. I don’t take any of it for granted. I say it all the time- Instagram put me in a different mindset of what I can really, really do. I’ve touched so many people,” she told the AFRO.“So I encourage young Black women to use it to your advantage. I don’t care if you’re a doctor, and you need more people in your doctor’s office, or if you’re an actress… That platform is needed for whatever occupation you’re in,” she said.The entertainer is also an entrepreneur. A licensed cosmetologist who practiced 15 years, B. Simone is launching an upcoming vegan, cruelty-free makeup line and encouraged her followers to stay tuned for when its released.In the meantime, the comedienne is grinding on the road with the “You’re My Boooyfriend Comedy Tour” featuring Desi Banks, with whom she famously collaborates on skits, and “Wild ‘N Out” co-star Darren Brand. The D.C. stop is on Dec. 26 at City Winery the Ivy City (1350 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002).“It’s going to be an amazing show.”Click here for tickets and for all things B. Simone, follow her at @thebimone2 on Instagram.