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Updated: Town Clerk Sooba gains entry to office; calls in national police

BACK IN HER OFFICE: Town Clerk, Carol Sooba speaking with Local Government Minister, Norman Whittaker on the phone shortly after gaining entry to her office.

Georgetown Town Clerk, Carol Sooba is back in her office after boards were pulled down and hasp and staples ripped out from her office doors that were placed on her doors, just hours after the opposition-controlled City Council passed a motion for her to be sent on administrative leave.

Sooba expressed grave concern that none of the nearby City Police saw who entered her secretariat or heard the barring and locking of her internal and external office doors. “I couldn’t understand how the Constabulary is right there and people would compromise this office to do that,” she told reporters.

Speaking with reporters from inside her office, she said she has since informed Local Government Minister, Norman Whittaker and A Division Commander, Clifton Hicken. She said the national police were called in because the City Constabulary’s  Chief and Deputy Chief Constable could not be contacted.  “I brought it to their attention and in a case where the City Constabulary failed to do what they are supposed to the national police will have to do,” she said.

The Town Clerk hinted that security for her secretariat would be beefed up, in the wake of the incident that she declared was an attempt to boot her out of office. “It’s obviously to force me out of office by force,” she said.
town clerk door

Reacting to the passage of the no-confidence motion for her to be sent on leave to facilitate an investigation into the GUY$27 million waiver in taxes for the former Strand Cinema that is now being occupied by a Brazilian church, she said it was of no legal effect. “They don’t have the authority to do so. They can pass the motion but that motion has to go to the Minister of Local Government and they don’t have that authority,” she said.

This is the latest effort to remove Sooba from office after several other administrative and legal steps have so far failed. The majority of councillors say government has imposed an unqualified person to manage the administration of the city.

The Council also approved a motion to send City Treasurer, Pastor Ron Mc Almon on administrative leave with immediate effect to allow an investigation into how he has allegedly expended Council’s finances in an “imprudent and capricious manner”.

Specifically, the no-confidence motion refers to the payment of GUY$400,000 for a sofa and the alleged fraudulent waiver of GUY$27 million in rates in favour of Ganga Prasad and Sons “without the knowledge, permission or authority of the council.”