City Treasurer suspended over money-in-vehicle saga

City Treasurer (ag) John Douglas

…several others also disciplined

DISCIPLINARY action has been announced against City Treasurer (ag) John Douglas and a host of other officers of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) for the respective roles they played in the controversial issue surrounding money found in the former chief constable’s vehicle.

Following the incident, an investigation was launched by the Local Government Commission (LGC), and Town Clerk (Ag) Sherry Jerrick on Monday read the results of the concluded investigation to the Council. The setting was the first statutory meeting for 2020.

Douglas received one month’s suspension which was supposed to begin on Monday. However, because budget discussions have already started, the Council moved a motion that the Town Clerk write to the LGC seeking to have the suspension deferred.

Jerrick will write asking the LGC to allow Douglas to proceed on his one month no-pay suspension in March, when all budget preparations are expected to be concluded.

Meanwhile, other officers of the Markets and Constabulary Department who were disciplined in connection with the same issue are Clerk of Markets Sherlock Lovell, Iva Bryan, Sonia Pitt, Yolanda Forde and Felicia Mc Rae. A bag containing cash belonging to the M&CC was found inside the vehicle assigned to Chief Constable Andrew Foo, and the LGC was subsequently called in to launch an investigation.

Mayor Ubraj Narine had told the Guyana Chronicle that according to his information, the money was being kept in the vehicle, PVV 1405, for quite some time. He could not state how much money was in the bag, or who found it and reported the matter.
While not his responsibility to investigate, he had said that he was disturbed that no one at the City Council told him about this incident.

“The only thing that bothers me is that no one apprised me of this. I had to hear it on the road, which is not good for business,” Narine expressed, adding, “I heard it on the road and when I came here, I walked into the Town Clerk’s office and asked her to launch an investigation.”

According to him, the bag found was one that contains a ‘lock’ or M&CC seal. It was for that reason that it could have been confirmed that the money belonged to the Council.
Just recently, Foo’s 30-year service to the council was terminated over the said issue of the movement of the Council’s finance in his personal vehicle.

In his defence at the time the money was found, Foo indicated to the Mayor and Councillors, at a statutory meeting later in the month of July 2019, that he made contact with the mayor, town clerk and other relevant authorities about what he had found.