Integrity Commission apologises to Mayor Creary

Integrity Commission apologises to Mayor Creary

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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THE Integrity Commission, in a letter signed by Executive Director Greg Christie, has issued an apology to the Mayor of Port Maria Richard Creary for naming him, in two reports which are now the subject of public scrutiny, as a member of a panel at Petrojam who interviewed former General Manager Floyd Grindley for that position.

The 486-page special report on investigations into allegations of acts of irregularity and/or impropriety, conflict of interest, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, and favouritism at Petrojam; and the 212-page special report of investigations conducted into allegations concerning certain donations which were made by Petrojam to organisations and causes for the the period April 2016 to March 2018 were tabled in the House of Representatives on June 30.

A week later a corrigendum was tabled in the House, in which the commission admitted erring in its conclusion that Creary was present at a meeting where Grindley was interviewed for the general manager's post, noting that Creary had indicated that he was unable to attend Grindley's interview. Grindley quit the post after he was hammered with questions before the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament about the operations at the State oil refinery, and allegations of mismanagement and nepotism intensified in the public space.

Christie stated that the commission recognised that Creary had only participated in the interview involving Yolande Ramharrack for the post of human resource development and administration manager.”This fact is accurately recorded in report 31,” he pointed out. Ramharrack's employment to the refinery also became a matter of controversy, which saw her separating from the company in November 2018, with a settlement package which also came under scrutiny.

Christie pointed to the corrigendum which admitted he error, stating that the commission, “sincerely regrets its error and wishes to unreservedly apologies to you for any distress embarrassment or inconvenience that it may have caused you”.

The letter of apology from the commission comes days after Creary threatened to take the Integrity Commission to court over the error, and demanded that it issue an apology. He said the report was “deeply flawed”. In a statement, the mayor said the report had caused “undue stress and damage to his reputation”, pointing out that “it is not enough for them to tell lies on me then say subsequently that they erred. The commission must retract the report immediately as the report is now totally lacking in credibility”.

The commission said it initiated the probe for the first report based on an anonymous allegation referring to certain acts of corruption, impropriety and irregularity in relation to, among other things, Ramharrack's hiring and an alleged personal relationship between herself and former Energy Minister Andrew Wheatley; the employment of Grindley and a number of other personnel; the tenure of former Board Chairman Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh; and the alleged use of public funds for the hosting of a surprise party for the former minister and chairman. In the case of the first report, the commission has recommended that it be forwarded to the director of public prosecutions (DPP), pursuant to the Integrity Commission Act.

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