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Court dismisses forgery charge against Town Clerk

FLASH BACK: Royston King (right) being escorted to court by a police detective.

by Zena Henry

A forgery charge against  Royston King, fomer Public Relations Officer at City Hall, was Thursday July 16 dismissed when the matter was up for another hearing at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

King was accused of signing off documents to waive $36M in rates and taxes for charitable organisation, Beacon Foundation.

The matter, which was before Magistrate Judy Latchman, saw King’s lawyer, Nigel Hughes presenting a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions saying she had no objection to the police withdrawing the forgery charge against King since the Mayor and City Council did not wish to pursue the matter.

Dismissal of the case came two days after King officially took up the post of Town Clerk.

King’s arrest last August was seen as politically motivated since he and the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration appointed Town Clerk Carol Sooba had clashed several times and she initiated the investigation claiming that King had breached the law.

The Mayor and City Councilors said that King was the acting Town Clerk at the time and with their authority, he had only written a letter informing Beacon Foundation that they had qualified as a charitable organisation for the exemption. They claimed King’s action was above board.

The former Town Clerk with the backing of the then government insisted however, that King was not the acting Town Clerk at the time and he had “illegally” signed the waiver documents.

The matter was taken to the police and the former PRO was charged.

The DPP in reponse to a letter dated July 9, written by King’s Attorney saw the DPP having “no objection to the police withdrawing the charge and the Magistrate dismissing same.”

The DPP said she had recieved a letter from Mayor Hamilton Green indicating that the Council had no interest in pursuing the matter.