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CDA chairman fired after board meeting

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) Danny Solomon has been fired. The T&T Guardian learned the decision was taken at a committee meeting of the board by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, on Wednesday night.



When the T&T Guardian contacted Solomon yesterday on his sacking he had no comment. Since his appointment he and several board members had butted heads over decision-making at the state enterprise. Several of the concerns were reported exclusively in the Sunday Guardian.


Among them was the move to contract corporate legal services at a monthly cost of $30,000. Nine of the seven board members had decided against contracting the services but instead supported filling the vacant post of corporate secretary. 


In another issue the board also raised objections to legal fees being paid to Devesh Maharaj & Associates. The law firm’s contract was ended after concerns were raised in relation to financial statements. A letter was also sent to line minister Bhoe Tewarie asking for an audit to be done at the CDA.



Other concerns were:
• The lease agreement involving EOG Resources and the deposit of a $2.4 million cheque from a third party while negotiations were ongoing.
• Decisions being taken without board approval.
• Proper procurement procedures not being followed in the award of contracts.
• Recruitment process flawed.



Board members also claimed seven board minutes remained outstanding. Among them is board minute 368, which lists details of the sacking of former CEO Judith Mark. Tewarie announced last year he was taking a note to Cabinet to disband the board because of the contention between members. He had also given a directive in September instructing all committee and board meetings were to be stopped. Board members had criticised Tewarie's handling of concerns raised.


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