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…refuses to leave statutory meeting despite being served with Court papers
Interim City Town Clerk, Candace Nelson, on Monday, refused to remove herself from a statutory meeting of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) though receiving orders from the High Court – resulting in a standoff.
Village Voice News understands that during Monday’s statutory meeting, Nelson was served with legal papers barring her from performing the duties of the Interim Town Clerk.
“A Marshal of the Court served Ms. Nelson with two orders. One, which includes a cease and desist order relating to her duties while the order concerns her appointment,” a City Councilor told this publication.
Nelson was appointed Interim Town Clerk by the Chairman of the Local Government Commission (LGC) Julius Faerber, however, according to the opposition-nominated commissioners, Nelson’s purported appointment was never sanctioned by the Commission.
Commissioners Nicola Trotman and Joan-Ann Romascindo, upon learning of the Nelson’s appointment late July, objected. City Mayor Ubraj Narine and a number of councilors have also objected to Nelson’s appointment.
It was against this background that legal proceedings were initiated against Nelson and the Local Government Commission.
However, though receiving the Court orders, Nelson reportedly refused to remove herself from the statutory meeting. The Chief Constable and a female Constable were called in but Nelson told them to stand down, thereby going against the order of the Council.
The standoff resulted in an early adjournment of the meeting.
In a statement, Nelson said that the Mayor had no authority to sign the legal papers from the Court.
“Something is seriously wrong with that: First, the Act, Chap 28:01 never contemplated the signatures of the Mayor and Councillors on any legal papers. This fact is confirmed by section 6, and the Sixth Schedule Part I, 8 which states, “where any document is required as a necessary step in legal proceedings on behalf of the Council, he shall sign such document unless any written law otherwise requires or authorizes, or the Council shall have given the necessary authority to some other person for the purpose of such proceedings.” The Act recognizes the Town Clerk as the officer with the authority and responsibility to deal with all legal documents of the Council,” Nelson reasoned.
Nelson insisted that her appointment by the Local Government Commission is valid, and ought to be respected.
“That commission has similar functions to the other commissions including the Teachers Service Commission and the Public Service Commission. I have been properly appointed by that commission and God willing, I intend to carry out my duties to the best of my ability within the confines of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01,” Nelson maintained.