Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Chairman of the Tunapuna\Piarco Regional Corporation Edwin Gooding second
from, right, address members of the media during a press conference at the
offices of the Tunapuna\Piarco Regional Corporation, Tunapuna yesterday. Also
in the photo are councillor for Valsayn\St Joseph Marcia Chan Pak, left, and vice
chairman of the corporation Esmond Forde. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Former Integrity Commission
chairman Kenneth Gordon is
suing Housing Minister Dr
Roodal Moonilal for defamation.
Gordon, through his lawyer
Imran Ali, issued a pre-action
protocol letter to Moonilal on
Monday afternoon in which he
alleged that his reputation was
tarnished by the minister in a let-
ter he (Moonilal) sent to the
Integrity Commission on May 15.
In the letter, which was pub-
lished by two daily newspapers,
Moonilal raised concerns about
the commission appearing biased
because of a meeting between
Gordon and Opposition Leader
Dr Keith Rowley on the "Email-
gate scandal" in 2013.
"The words quoted above, in
their natural and ordinary mean-
ing or by way of innuendo, meant
and are understood to mean that
my client was politically biased
in the discharge of his functions
as chairman of the Integrity
Commission; did not discharge
his duties as chairman with
integrity and impartiality; and
was accordingly not fit to hold
office as chairman," Ali said, as
he noted Gordon had made a note
of the meeting and had informed
his fellow commissioners.
Gordon is seeking substantial
damages as well as an official
apology. Moonilal has until next
Monday to reply to the letter.
Local Government Minister Marlene
Coudray may be attempting political
sabotage of the Tunapuna Piarco
Regional Corporation (TPRC) by refus-
ing to give approval to pay the corpo-
ration s $2.4 million debt, says chair-
man of the corporation Edwin
Gooding raised this concern yesterday
at a press conference at the corporation s
Tunapuna office, on the eve of an auc-
tion of six of the corporation s vehicles
in lieu of payment of the debt.
Other items, which will be auctioned
by a court marshall today, include a pair
of rubber boots, an orange cone, a spare
tyre and a white tarpaulin.
The vehicles being auctioned include
a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, one Nissan
Navarra, one Isuzu pickup and a Hyundai
Two Mitsubishi Sporteros are also
being auctioned today.
The vehicles were seized from the
corporation this year and were formerly
being used by the CEO, the senior super-
intendent, administration, the corpo-
ration s Canine Unit and the Disaster
Other vehicles have been rented to
replace the seized vehicles.
Gooding said the auction of the vehi-
cles would significantly and adversely
affect the corporation s ability to serve
its over 250,000 residents.
He said the vehicle seized from the
Disaster Management Unit was of par-
ticular concern because of the increased
number of bush fires occurring recently.
The vehicles were seized after the con-
tractor BK Holding took the corporation
to court over non-payment for work
carried out in 2009.
Gooding and the councillors called
on Coudray to facilitate the payment of
the $2.4 million, as ordered by the court.
He feared that following today s auc-
tion, which was expected to recover a
mere $700,000, more vehicles would
be seized, further hampering the cor-
poration s service delivery to residents.
"All we are asking now is to get access
to what we have. We have the money
in our account. What we are asking the
minister to do is to move the money
into the appropriate head so that the
cheque could be issued," Gooding said.
He said the debt was incurred prior
to the sitting council and under former
TPRC chairman Khadijah Ameen in
Ameen is currently an advisor to the
minister of Local Government.
"Since before October 2014 we have
been pleading with the minister of Local
Government, asking for her approval to
pay this debt," Gooding said.
He said the corporation was told, by
Coudray, that Cabinet needed more
information before it could give approval.
He said the information requested by
Cabinet was provided, despite the Local
Government Act stating that only the
approval of the minister was required.
"The question really is, what agenda
could the minister of Local Government
have, that is designed to make a cor-
poration fail in its responsibility?
"Can her agenda be to make this PNM
council look bad? Is this political sab-
otage? I hope that is not the case,
because when we were elected into
office, we were elected to serve all the
people in the Tunapuna Piarco region.
It wasn t for PNM people, it was for
The council was elected after the 2013
local government elections, which saw
the control of the corporation shift from
the People s Partnership to the PNM.
"The people who will suffer are the
people who we have to serve," Gooding
Gooding expressed confusion over
the length of time taken by the minister
to resolve the matter, as he considered
approval for payment of debts to be
"The minister is the only person
standing in the way."
TPRC cries sabotage
Unable to pay its $2.4m debt
Party (ILP) leader Jack
Warner has testified that
he turned a blind eye to
apparent corrupt prac-
tices of his former cab-
inet colleagues while
serving as a government
Warner was testifying
before Justice Robin
Mohammed in the Port-
of-Spain High Court, in
his defence against a
brought against him by
former attorney general
Anand Ramlogan, SC.
Warner, Ramlogan s
lawyer Avory Sinanan,
SC, repeatedly asked
Warner why he chose to
make allegations against
Ramlogan only after he
broke his ties with the
People s Partnership
coalition Government in
"Was it convenient for
you to stay quiet?"
Sinanan asked as he
sought to challenge
Warner s defence to the
lawsuit, namely, that he
had a duty to inform the
public of questionable
"It was prudent. There
is a difference," Warner
Sinanan: "Is that not
the height of oppor-
Warner: "I totally dis-
agree with you."
Sinanan: "You fabri-
cated these statements in
an effort to get political
Warner: "No, sir. It was
for the good of the coun-
Warner also repeatedly
denied he had any ani-
mosity towards the for-
mer attorney general,
saying the controversial
statement he was being
sued for related only to
Ramlogan s conduct in
the run-up to the 2013
Local Government elec-
Even as Ramlogan s
lawyers confronted him
with excerpts of the
statement made at an ILP
meeting in October 2013
in which he described
Ramlogan as "scandalous
and dangerous," Warner
reiterated that he had no
malice towards Ramlo-
"Do you think he
(Ramlogan) is fit for pub-
lic office and for the posi-
tion of attorney general?"
"Even up to today,"
Warner said. His
responses appeared to
have caught Ramlogan
off guard, who was
smirking as he listened
to Warner s evidence in
"He is my friend of 20
years. Our friendship has
waned but I still hold him
in high esteem," Warner
Ramlogan s lawsuit
centres around a state-
ment made by Warner
alleging that Ramlogan
had acquired a significant
property portfolio by cor-
rupt means during his
stint as AG.
Warner has contended
that his claims, which he
believed to be true at the
time, were based on pri-
vate conversations with
Ramlogan. Ramlogan has
provided evidence that
he owns only four prop-
erties and he denies ever
confiding in Warner.
Warner, who served in
both Ministries of Works
and Transport and
resigned in April 2013
over allegations of bribery
related to his role as then
vice-president of Fifa.
Warner went on to form
his own political party,
ILP, and retained his
Chaguanas West seat in
Ramlogan resigned in
February after claims of
witness tampering were
made by Director of the
Authority David West in
relation to a separate
Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Police are still investigat-
ing that matter.
Ramlogan is also being
represented by Kelvin
Ramdeen and Varun
Debideen. Warner is
being represented by
Mohammed is expect-
ed to deliver his judge-
ment in the case on July
Yesterday, Coudray did not
respond to a text message sent to
her mobile phone or to phone calls
during the break in the senate
However, on Monday, she texted
Gooding to say she would discuss
the matter with Attorney General
Nicholas said yesterday in an
interview that he had been informed
of the situation and had asked his
staff to gather information so he
could address the issue.
"I don't have any information
about it now, so I can't tell you what
can be done."
Warner kept quiet
Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, left, looks on as Chaguanas West MP
Jack Warner, right, speaks to his attorney Keith Scotland outside the Hall of
Justice, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Gordon sues Moonilal over Emailgate letter
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