Mayor Hamilton Green, and Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green Tuesday afternoon reported that Shawn Hinds illegally broke and entered City Hall after the Town Clerk’s doors were boarded up and locked.
Green told Demerara Waves Online News that after the majority of Councillors Monday afternoon approved a motion to send Town Clerk, Carol Sooba on administrative leave, her office was secured. Sooba was told to return all official property and remove her personal belongings from her office with immediate effect.
About two hours later, hasp and staples were placed on the Town Clerk’s internal door and the external door was boarded up. But shortly after 8 AM, Hinds, who is Sooba’s bodyguard, opened the doors. “That was our complaint i) Shawn Hinds is not a staff member ii) he has no right to break, destroy any lock or property that belongs to the municipality,” said Green. Asked whether Hinds could not have been authorized by Sooba, Green questioned whether she had such authority because she has been sent on administrative leave.
Mayor Green said Hinds is not an employee of the municipality and he had no authority to enter the premises in the way that he did.
Green said when police went to City Hall to interview Sooba, she locked herself in her office and eventually they left on instructions from someone who had called them by telephone.
The Mayor said apparently the City Constabulary was unaware that the Town Clerk’s office was barred and locked after the no-confidence vote against Sooba. Earlier Tuesday, Sooba said she had tried without success to contact the Chief Constable and his Deputy. Sooba said she then informed the A Division Police Commander, Clifton Hicken and the Minister of Local Government.
At the centre of this latest controversy is the granting of a GUY$27 million tax waiver in favour of Ganga Prashad and Sons for the former Strand Cinema, Wellington and Charlotte Streets, Georgetown that houses a Brazilian church. The majority of Councillors, who are associated with the People’s National Congress (PNC) and A Good and Green Guyana (GGG) have said that they have not been consulted about the waiver that was granted by the Local Government Minister in collaboration with the Town Clerk.
The Town Clerk was adamant at Monday’s statutory meeting that no one but the government could remove her from office. ““No pressure will move me, Mr. Mayor. When the Ministry and the Government are ready to move me, that’s when I will move. I will not join with you to steal the Council’s money. I’m stuck with my reputation and that of the Treasurer. We are not a pack of thieves,” she said.