DUARTE Hetsberger, who served as a personal assistant to former Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, has been dismissed from his post, having been accused of tampering with computers belonging to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Hetsberger’s dismissal was confirmed by government-appointed GECOM Commissioner, Sase Gunraj, who said that the allegations followed an investigation conducted by the new CEO, Vishnu Persaud.
The investigations revealed that computers belonging to the GECOM’s secretariat, which were under Hetsberger’s control, had been wiped.
The Guyana Chronicle was informed that based on findings of the investigation, Hetsberger was confronted by members of GECOM’s Information Technology Department, but could not give a reasonable explanation as to why the files from the computers were deleted.
A report detailing the investigation was purportedly submitted to the executives of GECOM for perusal.
Reports are that Hetsberger’s dismissal, which took effect on December 31, 2021, will be done in keeping with his contractual agreement.
In September 2020, along with Lowenfield, the 39-year-old Guyana Defence Force (GDF) rank was also arrested for alleged criminal conduct during the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections, and the six-month-long fiasco that followed.
Hetsberger, as a GDF lieutenant, was seconded to GECOM a few years ago. In 2016 and 2018, he served as the returning officer for Georgetown for the Local Government Elections.
Reports are that after his arrest, Hetsberger had his contract renewed. Strangely enough, his contract was renewed months before it should have ended in December 2021.
Apparently, Lowenfield, as he himself faced dismissal and criminal charges, had taken the liberty of extending Hetsberger’s contract all the way to December 2024.
The Guyana Chronicle was informed that for some reason, even with Lowenfield gone and still facing criminal charges pertaining to electoral fraud, Hetsberger remained intent on maintaining his position as the CEO’s personal assistant, refusing multiple offers for transfers.