Harmon denies bribing Duncan to resign

…tribunal to hear 1st witness today

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has rejected claims made by trade unionist Carvil Duncan that Governmentjoseph-harmon offered money in exchange for his resignation as Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in light of his court charges.

According to a public statement released on Sunday, “The Office of the Minister of State categorically denies the assertion made by Mr Carvil Duncan that he was offered monies by the Minister of State or the President.”

The statement conceded that meetings were indeed held where Duncan was “gracefully” asked to vacate the positions he currently holds on several constitutional service commissions given his current trial for allegedly stealing $984,900 and conspiring to steal $27,757,500 from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).carvil-duncan

Harmon’s office said Duncan indicated that he would discuss the matter with his family and return with a decision; however, he never did, which prompted President David Granger to establish a tribunal to determine his fate.

However, Duncan, in a missive on Saturday evening, indicated that he made attempts to make contact with the Minister following the meeting, but all attempts proved futile.

He also alleged that both Harmon and the President offered him money to step down from his post on the Public Service Commission, which would automatically result in his removal from the Judicial Service Commission and the Police Service Commission.

“President Granger insisted I resign as Chairman of the Public Service Commission to be followed by the other constitutional service commissions. He then said to me as much as three times, that ‘he does not want any blood on his carpet’… The President offered me a financial package under the same conditions as had been offered by Minister Harmon if I were to resign as he insisted,” Duncan claimed in his statement.

The embattled official also insisted that he never received a letter from Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo asking him to justify why a tribunal should not be established to address his removal from his posts.

Reports indicate that Nagamootoo wrote Duncan asking him to show cause why a tribunal should not be established to address the question of his removal from constitutional office.

Given his non-response, the President took a decision to establish the tribunal to investigate and recommend whether Duncan should be removed from his offices for his inability to discharge his function and/or misbehaviour.

The tribunal members comprise Chairperson Justice Roxanne George, Justice Winston Patterson and Attorney-at-Law Robert Ramcharran.

Duncan was charged and placed before the courts over the alleged theft of monies.

He was placed on $1 million bail in February last after he had appeared in the Magistrates Court charged with larceny to which he pleaded not guilty.

Police alleged that on March 31, 2015 at Georgetown, he stole $984,900, property of GPL.

It is also alleged that he conspired with GPL’s then Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Aeshwar Deonarine to steal the money and to commit a felony, namely, he conspired to steal $27,757,500, property of the utility company.

The tribunal will hear its first witness today.