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PAC divided on Ahearn motion: 2 Government MLAs pull their support

Division in the Public Accounts Committee tonight (15 June) as the Chairman moves ahead with his contempt motion against Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn.
Two out of the three Government MLAs on the PAC have withdrawn their support.
Now PAC Chairman Hon. Ezzard Miller is facing a division within his Committee’s ranks when it comes to the contempt motion filed against the Health Ministry  Chief Officer.

“It is a little bit disconcerting for me why they would support us carrying forward a report on the 16 of March and when we are completing the process they decide they can’t support the motion,” Mr. Miller said.

The they he’s referring to Government MLAs Barbara Conolly and Austin Harris.

We reached out to Ms. Conolly for comment, she did not respond. But Mr. Harris did. He said there’s big difference between misinforming the PAC and outright lying to the PAC and he couldn’t support the motion.

“When we tabled our PAC report in the LA at the March 2018 session I agreed with my PAC colleagues that the witness had misinformed the committee and those words were reflected in the report. However, this contempt motion takes things too far and as such I could not support it,” he told Cayman 27.

The third government MLA on the Committee, Bernie Bush said he is supporting the motion. Opposition MLA Chris Saunders seconded the motion. Now it’s in the hands of House Speaker Hon. McKeeva Bush.

“If all is in order it will get my ok, because I have to do that as Speaker. But if it is not in order I’ll have to reject it,” he said.

The Speaker said he has sought the Attorney General’s advice on the motion and he is waiting for that advice before he signs off on the motion. This week Acting Governor Hon. Franz Manderson released his decision on the PAC’s recommendation that disciplinary action be taken against Ms. Ahearn. He ruled there was no basis to do so.
The whole issue came about following Ms. Ahearn’s testimony before the Committee back in March on changes to the Dental and Medical Council.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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