By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
A LOCAL government administrator, perceived to be a supporter of the Progressive Liberal Party, has been dismissed, according to party chairman Fred Mitchell.
The claim was made in statement circulated by the party yesterday, in which Mr Mitchell claimed an unnamed island administrator was given a total of seven days to vacate his district.
While he did not name the administrator, The Tribune understands that Preston Cunningham, an administrator on the island of Andros, has been asked to vacate his post.
“The purges continue,” Senator Mitchell said. “Local government administrators perceived to be PLP are also being sent home. Last week, one was given seven days to get out of the district even though he has a wife in the district and a minor child in school.
“Six more are to go,” he added.
When asked about the claim yesterday, Transport and Local Government Minister Renward Wells said he had no comment.
Mr Mitchell in his statement yesterday also fired back at Free National Movement chairman Carl Culmer following his response to PLP leader Philip “Brave” Davis.
In an interview with The Tribune on Tuesday, Mr Culmer took issue with Mr Davis’ suggestion that the dismissal of eight senior police officers were “political”.
Mr Culmer called the statement reckless and claimed that Mr Davis and the PLP were seeking to cast aspersions on the current process to cover-up their own bad practices.
“The last time I checked, there were no PLP policemen, there were no FNM policemen,” Mr Culmer said at the time. “This reckless statement shows that under their administration, they only looked out for PLPs.”
In that same interview, he also questioned whether or not Mr Mitchell had anything else positive to offer in the political arena due to his age.
Responding yesterday, Mr Mitchell said: “So the chairman of the FNM has suddenly discovered that there are no PLP or FNM policemen. He must be the only FNM leader who believes that because the evidence is that the FNM government has been systematically going through the force and anyone who they perceive to be PLP or allies of former Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade is being sent home summarily.”
He continued: “The prime minister in his usual clumsy way sought to cover up this FNM misdeed by suggesting that this is all about officers who have long accumulated leave. The PLP has seen the list of those with accumulated leave and among them is the commissioner of police himself who has 58 weeks of leave. He remains on the job. So clearly it isn’t leave that is the issue.
“This comes off as the FNM (being) a brutal, nasty group of people who care not one wit for decency.
“The fact is the police force is more divided than ever politically as a deliberate policy of the FNM. This is going to affect the force’s reliability as a neutral arbiter in fighting crime and in guarding the ballot boxes when the elections come.
“The PLP is very concerned about this,” he added.
Mr Mitchell asserted that this new course of action, as it relates to the police force, stemmed from National Security Minister Marvin Dames, whom he noted was assigned to head up the security detail at the Lynden Pindling Airport under a former PLP administration. Mr Dames was a senior police officer at the time.
“Instead of applying himself to the task, there were complaints coming from FNM parliamentarians about his new assignment. The government changed shortly thereafter and as soon as the FNM came to power he was reassigned,” Mr Mitchell noted.
“So FNM chairman don’t try to fool us,” Mr Mitchell said.