Approximately two hours after news emerged that former Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley had filed a court challenge to conclusions made about him by the Integrity Commission in its probe of the Petrojam scandal, the commission admitted that it had erred in an aspect of the same report relating to Port Maria Mayor Richard Creary.
The dramatic developments came on the very day that a joint oversight committee for the commission had its first meeting. The group grappled with the limitations of dealing with actions taken by the newly reactivated commission.
A corrigendum (correction of an error) from the commission was tabled in House of Representatives confirming Creary’s insistence, last week, that he was not present at a meeting at which former Petrojam General Manager Floyd Grindley was interviewed for the job.
In its report to Parliament last week the commission stated that there was “a strategic placement of certain individuals” on the Petrojam board, including Chairman Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh and director Richard Creary, which led to the appointment of Grindley and later Yolande Ramharrack as the human resource development and administration manager.
The commission accused the administration at the refinery, including Wheatley, of “acts of irregularity and/or impropriety, conflict of interest, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, and favouritism”.
However, Creary, who is chairman of the St Mary Parish Council, responded immediately, denying that he was involved in the meeting at which Grindley was considered for the position.
The commission referred to its evidence and found that Creary was right and that he had been listed as “unable to attend” the meeting. The commission had actually sent the corrigendum to Parliament last Wednesday afternoon. However, sources at Gordon House said that the information was received after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the day and, with no meeting of the Senate on Friday, it had to await yesterday’s meeting to be tabled.
One has to wonder however if the Integrity Commission got such a simple matter wrong, what else on a more serious note did it also get wrong in its investigation of Petrojam?