A welcoming decision and we can now move on I hope. I opined in earlier commentary that nepotism is synonymous to both government and private sector organisations. To say otherwise is a blatant lie. As the article states, nepotism is not illegal, so the action taken was based primarily on moral and ethical grounds; both that weighs and should weigh heavily on any group or entity that wants to engender trust amongst its people.
For the government’s part, we cannot and should not go back in time but purely by our actions swift they must be journey on a path that speaks to our ‘will’ in wanting change from the old. A paradigm shift will always be a theory in a lesson well taught, however, our measures, actions, demonstrate that the theory has now become a ‘practical’. Until we practice what we preach, trust will always be a sore point, sore enough that will and can lead us into political suicide as opposed to recovery followed by exponential growth. Again, the government’s decision was the correct one and Ms Haughton will decide on principle if she chooses to sit out her tenure or not. With all that has taken place, her indiscretion which she must accept responsibility for having no need to bring down the house, is her right if she wants to remain a member of the PNP. That is called democracy which we so relish.
PNP bars Haughton from representing party in local government polls
(Jamaica Observer) Tuesday, June 30, 2015
THE People’s National Party’s (PNP) National Executive Council (NEC) has ratified an internal decision to bar former Lucea Mayor Shernet Haughton from representing the party at the next local government elections.
The ratification on Sunday follows her appearance before the party’s Integrity Commission.
However, the party pointed out that Haughton’s current membership of the Hanover Parish Council is not affected by the decision, neither is her membership of the PNP.
In a report tabled in the House of Representatives on March 24, Contractor General Dirk Harrison had recommended that Haughton relinquish her position as councillor for the Green Island Division of the Hanover Parish Council, following her resignation as mayor on the basis of unethical behaviour.
The report said that investigations by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) had shown that Haughton was involved in the award of more than $3.7 million worth of contracts to family members and close friends during her two years as mayor of the rural town.
It called for her resignation as a councillor and forwarded its recommendations to Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn for criminal action against her.
But Llewellyn advised against criminal proceedings, stating that, although the evidence of nepotism against Haughton was overwhelming, “that by itself is not an offence known to criminal law”.
The PNP executive said that its decision follows its acceptance that “there are moral principles and issues of ethical conduct which are central to the findings contained in those reports”.
“The executive of the PNP contends that, as a result of the seriousness of the issues contained in the OCG Report, and notwithstanding an apology by Councillor Haughton to be made public at the next meeting of the Hanover Parish Council, she will not be eligible to contest the next local government election on a PNP ticket, but will be allowed to complete her current term as a councillor and a member of the party,” a release from the party said.
The party also noted that it had no legal authority to remove Councillor Haughton as an elected representative.
The NEC said that it had accepted from the onset of the release of the OCG’s report that strong disciplinary action would be taken once the matter had been reviewed in detail and the process of natural justice completed.
“The banning of Mrs Haughton from the next local government election as a candidate of the party is an appropriate sanction,” it said.