Friday, June 14, 2013

Ken Gordon met with Rowley privately on May 15.

Newsday photo of Keith Rowley with members of his caucus during prayers
 before the start of the sitting of Parliament
The Newsday newspaper reported on Friday that the Integrity Commission confirmed to its reporter, Andre Bagoo, that commission chairman Ken Gordon met privately with opposition leader Keith Rowley on May 15, five days before Rowley went to Parliament to present his no confidence motion in the government.

On May 20 Rowley revealed that he had in his possession emails from the Prime Minister, Attorney General, the Local Government Minister and the PM's national security adviser that pointed to a major conspiracy to spy of the Director of Public Prosecution and to harm a female reporter.

All the persons named by Rowley denied that they sent the emails and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar passed the matter to the police, who are currently conducting an investigation.

When Rowley presented his motion he claimed that he received the information from a 'whistleblower' but did not act immediately on it. He said he passed it to President Max Richards on January 8 this year, about two months after receiving the documents. Richards, who demitted office in March, said he had passed the material to the Integrity Commission "for verification" in March, just days before the term of office for commissioners, except Gordon, expired.

Gordon is the only commissioner at the present time. 

On Thursday morning Government House Leader asked Rowley to state whether he held a private meeting on May 15 with a "high official" of the commission. He did not name the official but PNM member Colm Imbert wanted to know if Moonilal meant Gordon. 

According to Newsday, the answer came from Martin Farrell, Registrar at the Commission. The paper said Farrell released "an aide memoir of the meeting kept by Gordon" in which he disclosed that:
  • Gordon called Rowley’s mobile phone twice in response to a message from Rowley requesting an ‘urgent meeting’
  • Gordon suggested to Rowley that both men meet at Gordon’s home since both live in the same area
  • Gordon offered Rowley a drink once both were at Gordon’s Newbury Hill, Glencoe home
  • Gordon informed Rowley that a matter raised by Rowley with former President George Maxwell Richards was not before the Integrity Commission since the Commission was not properly constituted as at that date 
Newsday said Farrell responded to its query about the meeting in an email in which he stated that the chairman asked him to provide the aide memoire dated Wednesday May 15, 2013.
Ken Gordon - met privately with
Keith Rowly on May 15

Newsday quoted from the chairman's record in the document: "Not having heard from him (by 6 pm) and mindful of the urgency expressed earlier I tried again to reach him and this time did so...He stated that he was on his way home and that the ‘urgency’ still existed. 

"Since we live in the same general area I suggested that he could stop over to see me on his way home. He did so and arrived some ten minutes later. I offered him a drink which he declined and we moved straight to the business of the meeting.”

The paper said Gordon stated that Rowley informed Gordon that he had “reason to believe” that Richards had referred a matter to the Commission and Rowley wanted to embark on a “certain course of action” since two months had elapsed. 

The paper quoted from the chairman: “I reminded Dr Rowley that it is not the practice of the Commission to disclose the matters which are before the Commission...

"Even more significantly it was pointed out that the four (4) new appointments to the Commission had not as yet been made by President Carmona. While non-policy day to day operations continue to be addressed by the Commission, until the new Commissioners are appointed and sworn in new matters cannot be addressed until at least a quorum exists. 

"The matter which he had referred to former President Richards is not therefore before the Integrity Commission.” 
File: Newsday photo of Roodal Moonilal

When Moonilal raised the matter about whether Rowley met with a "high official" he stated: "Mr Speaker, it is a very dangerous thing when an Opposition Leader would trek to the private residence of persons who hold high office in a fiercely independent Constitutional body.” 

He said there would be serious implications if the Opposition Leader held  “secret discussions at the home of a high-level official of the Integrity Commission”. 

He added, "If what I am asking is true, the Opposition Leader stands accused of not only undermining his own argument in Parliament, but also the integrity of the Parliament itself.”

Read the story:
Did you meet IC official on May 15 Moonilal asks Rowley

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai