NEESHA Hinds, a clerk attached to Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green’s office, has not been paid for six months now, due to “internal wrangling” between the Personnel Officer and Acting Town Clerk, Carol Sooba.
Last January 10, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Norman Whittaker had written to the City Council, via email, instructing that Hinds along with two midwives be paid their salaries, and for their employment to be confirmed at the following Statutory Meeting.
The two midwives, attached to the municipality’s Dorothy Bailey Centre on South Road, were paid this week, but Sooba has refused to pay Hinds, Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green told the Chronicle Wednesday, due to some internal wrangling. She pointed out that the Mayor is entitled to a Clerk and a Secretary.
According to her, Hinds has chosen to remain on the job because she has a letter of employment. Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour has advised that she remain, since, if she fails to show up for work, she can end up forfeiting her employment.
Chase-Green lamented Sooba’s lack of ethics and accused her of operating with no code of conduct. “To show you the level that Sooba has gone to, she has accused Mayor Green of being a murderer at one of our recent statutory meetings,” Chase-Green said.
Meanwhile, at last Monday’s statutory meeting, outraged by mention of her name in what Green called “criminal matters,” Sooba not only questioned the Mayor’s mental health, but also declared that he “ought to be in jail by now!”
Sooba told this publication that Green is somewhat shady in accusing her of being engaged in “criminal” acts, since she has uncovered acts of corruption that occurred under Green’s mayoralty, including misappropriation of lands, abuse of resources, and breaking laws relating to local government legislation.
The mayor, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, had asked during previous statutory meetings, that four matters be investigated which he perceived to be the fault of the administration, of which Sooba is head.
Those matters included, but were not limited to, a $2.6M pension cheque signed off to a pensioner who is believed to be dead. Green, acting on the advice of Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, requested the City Constabulary to investigate the matters.
Sooba was not the only target of the mayor’s request; a similar request was made for an investigation into Sooba’s bodyguard, Shawn Hinds, for what Green said was an “alleged assault” on a reporter.
“It has to be that you are senile, because you can’t be at this public forum to say that the town clerk committed an act and you cannot say that my bodyguard committed a criminal act [and] that he assaulted somebody, too,” Sooba shouted as City Councillors were hushed by the proceedings.
An angry Sooba expressed concern that the mayor was straying from the agenda set before him. The back-and-forth exchange with Councillors seemed to bear little fruit.