Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has called on Prime Minister Keith Rowley to remove Dr. Rolph Balgobin, as Chairman of the CLF Board pending an investigation.
Padarath stated that Rowley in the past had called on former Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, to remove persons from public office despite having less serious allegations made against them. He stated that Rowley has been silent on the allegations of sexual harassment made against Balgobin and it smells to the high heavens of double standards and hypocrisy.
The MP further advised that he believes that once Rowley continues to fail to act on removing Balgobin, it erodes the public confidence in his ability to act on public officials who have serious questions hanging over their heads, especially when it comes to serious allegations such as these.
The Princes Town MP indicated that in today’s sitting of the House of Representatives he would utilize the avenue available to him during Prime Minister’s question time to ask Rowley about whether there has been any consideration on removing Balgobin as the Chairman and government appointee on the CLF board.
He indicated that on January 3rd, 2017 a senior female executive of Angostura filed a Police report at the Morvant Police station, alleging sexual harassment. He further stated that this was not the first time such an allegation was made against Balgobin. That same month, the employee filed a whistle blower complaint through her attorney to the audit committee of Angostura and the board of its parent company, CLF.
Padarath reminded Rowley that it was the Prime Minister and Cabinet who made the appointment and in the public interest the appointment should be immediately revoked until this matter is ventilated. He said failure to do this; the Prime Minister and Government would be saying that they have already formed judgement on the accuser and Balgobin.
The Princes Town MP stated that he was not ascribing innocence or guilt, which is a matter for the judicial process, what he is proposing is a principled position to be adopted by the Prime Minister especially as the CLF position is appointed by government, and paid for by the taxpayers.