Former Army chief, General Hudson Austin has landed a state paying job with the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. A government document submitted to Parliament shows that Austin has been hired at $4000.00 a month as a Building Supervisor at the Richmond Hill prison where he was an inmate for nearly 25 years. General Austin was among seventeen former government and military officials convicted for the murder of their former colleague, Marxist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop in a bloody palace coup on October 19, 1983.
During his stay in prison, Austin who has experience in the construction industry, played a key role in the erection of several buildings on the compound. At the release of his sentence from prison, Austin was hired by the State to play a leading role in completing some of the building projects that he had started at the prison. General Austin is the only former revolutionary figure whose name appears on the list that was provided to Parliament by Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas based on a question asked by Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
However, the NEW TODAY newspaper has since learnt that former army Major, Leon “Bogo’ Cornwall was recently hired by the State to do work at the Richmond Hill prison in the Education programme. Cornwall was among the last batch of prisoners to be released in September 2009 after serving lengthy sentences for the execution of Bishop and a number of close colleagues following a feud for control of the then ruling New Jewel Movement-led People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG). The ex-army officer who served at one time as Grenada’s Ambassador to Cuba, and a former teacher at a secondary school on the island, was a key member of the teaching staff in the prison education programme.
The document that came before Parliament also gave an insight into the salaries and allowances paid to several public officers who were hired by the Thomas government after it came to power in July 2008 after defeating Mitchell’s NNP in general elections. The persons earning the highest salary was Attorney-Generals, Jimmy Bristol and Rohan Phillip whose take home pay approached the EC$16, 000.00 a month mark. This fell below the estimated EC$19, 000.00 a month that was earned by Jamaican attorney-at-law, Hugh Wildman, who served as a Special Prosecutor under the NNP watch and head of the Financial Intelligence unit (FIU). According to the document in the possession of this newspaper, Barbadian, Dr. Hugh Sealey, a brother-in-law to the Minister of Finance, Nazim Burke, has been hired by the new government as Energy Advisor at $8000.00 per month.
Speculation is rife that Sealey is being paid by a funding agency.The document also shows that former government minister and Executive Director of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Christopher De Riggs, who is now the Director in the Office of Private Sector Development is getting a salary of $7500.00 per month. In addition, De Riggs who operates within the Ministry of Finance is also getting other perks like traveling, cellular phone allowances and the customary 50% duty free concessions on the purchase of a vehicle.
Another new entrant in the Private Sector office, Sandra James was hired at $3985.00 per month and also benefits from the usual traveling and allowances that go with the job. US-based medical doctor, Dr. Trevor Layne, who is listed in the document as Consultant to the Oncology Programme run by the Ministry of Health is getting $13, 584.50 per month.Dr. Layne was recruited by the new government as a replacement for Guyanese cancer specialist, Dr. Carl Niamatali whose qualification came under scrutiny after the July 2008 polls.
Another person earning in excess of $10, 000.00 a month is former OAS diplomat, George Vincent who has landed a contract which pays him $10, 867.60 per month. In the Ministry of Finance, two other civil servants with above average salaries who landed job with the new government were:
*Hainsley Edwards - System Administrator - VAT Unit who is taking home $4250.00 per month
* Natasha Marquez-Sylvester, Head of the Debt Management Unit with $6600.00 per month, as well as traveling and concessions on the purchase of a vehicle and 12.5% on total salaries at the end of her contract.
In the legal profession, those persons with notable salaries were:
* Solicitor-General, Dashan Ramdhani who is taking home $14, 739.00 in salaries and other perks including inducement and allowances in lieu of private ;practice,
*Karen Samuel - Senior Crown Counsel $11204.00 per month in salaries and other perks.
*Naeisha John - Crown Counsel - $8777.00 in salaries and other perks.
*Jo Francis - Crown Counsel - $9086 in salaries and other perks
* Petrona Sealey-Brown - Chief Parliamentary Counsel - $14182.00 per month in salaries and other perks
*Tahyra Gellineau, Magistrate, Southern District - $11,134 per month in salaries and other perks.
Another attorney-at-law, Feron Lowe, a senior member of Congress who has left his job at the private law firm of Ciboney Chambers to become Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Agriculture is earning only $4500.00 a month. In addition, defeated NDC candidate, Ingrid Rush who was hired after the elections as Manager of Food Security in the Ministry of Agriculture is also paid $4500.00 a month for the job. In the diplomatic field, the Thomas government also provided the salaries and allowances paid to all newly hired Ambassadors and other high profile members working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
*Ambassador Stephen Fletcher in Brussels - $59, 748.00 a year
*Ambassador Marcelle Gairy in China - $59, 748.00 per annum.
*Ambassador Dessima Williams who is the island’s envoy to the United Nations - $59, 748.00 a year.
* Ambassador George Mc Leish gets $50, 364 a year for his posting in Caracas. In addition, he takes homes an entertainment allowance of $6520.56 per annum, Spouse allowances of $6520.56 a year, Child allowances of $3912.34 a year, and “Special Allowances” of $44, 100.72 per annum.
* Defeated NDC candidate for St. George North-west, Ingrid Jackson who is assigned to the Grenada Embassy in Washington as Attaché is receiving a monthly salary of $$3688.00, as well as a Housing Allowance of $2988.59 per month and Child Allowance of $1956.17.
* The Grenada Honorary Consul in New York, Derek James is making $3890 per month, plus housing of $2988.59 per month and Entertainment Allowances of $3260.28 per year.
* Richard Nixon who is serving as Counselor in China is getting $4508.00 per month and other perks such as Spouse, Entertainment and Child allowances, plus a 12.5% gratuity on his total salary at the end of his contract.
*Alice Thomas-Roberts, Chief of Protocol - $5000.00 a month plus allowance of $1500 for Clothing, an additional $4944 and $1260 per annum in Traveling and for use of Cell Phone respectively.
The Congress administration also indicated that another of its political activist Faye Thompson landed a job as Executive Assistant in the Ministry of Housing at $5000.00 per month coupled with the usual perks for traveling allowances and 50% duty free concession on the purchase of a vehicle.
Also in the Ministry of Housing, the notable persons who were hired after the last elections were:
*Joseph Noel, Project Officer, Salaries of $50, 400.00 per annum, plus traveling of $412.00 per month and 50% duty & tax concessions on the purchase of a vehicle.
* Anderson Simon, Project Co-ordinator, $4000.00 per month, as well as traveling and 50% concessions on the purchase of a vehicle.
In the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, figures were given for:-
* Betty-Ann Lazarus, Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation - $3000.00 a month plus traveling and 50% duty-free concessions on the purchase of a vehicle.
*Ovide Hercules, Facilities Officer - $3000.00 a month
*Devon Romain, Facilities Officer - $3000.00 a month
*Gerard Mc Phail, Chief Implementation Officer - $3000.00 a month
There were also some notable figures in the Office of the Prime Minister:
*Aaron Moses - Policy Advisor - $8000.00 per month. Moses has since taken up a new posting with government with funding being provided by an external agency.
* Vincent Roberts - ICT Co-ordinator, $5500.00 per month
*Lincoln Depradine, Communications Director at the Government Information Service (GIS) - $5500.00 per month
*Phillip Alexander - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister - $5500.00 per month
*Richard Simon, Press Secretary - $5000.00 per month
*Nigel Noel - Security Co-ordinator - $4500.00 per month
In the Ministry of Sports, former policeman ad ex-member of Parliament, Kenrick Fullerton who has been hired as Advisor to the Minister of Sports, Patrick Simmons is getting $4500. 00 per month plus an additional $500.00 a month as “inducement”.
* Stephenson Worme - Human & Public Relations Officer - $3500.00 per month
* Kevin Andall, Youth Co-ordinator $3717.00 per month
* Kathleen Henry-Andrew - $3500.00 per month
* Robin James - Small Business Enterprise Co-ordinator - $3500.00 per month
The above article is re-printed from The New Today (May 29, 2010)
Original article found at:http://spicegrenada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2271:austin-and-cornwall-land-state-jobs&catid=500:may-29th-2010&Itemid=143
Yes,proud of you brother...you have chosen to call yourself "OPEN EYE"...seems like YOU have just gotten up from a deep sleep of reality...those world wars occurred but those who battled each other are now one and working together to better themselves and races. On the contrary, we as a race (Black)are no longer physically enslaved but are constantly seeking ways to cheat, use and kill and destroy each other every step of the way. I challenge you to compliment a black brother or sister when they've accomplish even one mile stone. Instead of sighing with jealousy, hate, crabs in barrel mentality, compliment and encourage them, OPEN EYE.
By: damond 6/9/2010 12:55:25 AM
YOU DARN FOOL,WORLD WAR ONE,WORLD WAR TWO,THE BOMBS ON JAPAN,SLAVERY,CRUSADERS.
By: EYES OPEN 6/8/2010 8:58:40 PM
I can vividly recall my earlier years in university when my one of my closest friends who worked as a case filer for one of the Pivy Council's attorneys would take me along to their gatherings. The chance rendered us the opportunity to witness the unexpected behaviors of some of those attorneys attached to the privy coucil.
I don't hold the privy council responsible for its decision one bit. We-Black folk are our own enemies. We're more detrimental to each other than any other race...look at the self hate...the anger, jealousy...crabs in the barrel mentality we often subject each other to...look at what happen to Toussaint Louverture, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Walter Rodney, Maurice Bishop, the 1994 Rwandan genocide...self hate...the Green Card holders seem to be causing some sort of grievances and emotional disturbances to some of our people. It's unfortunate that some of us have failed to recognize the contributions of the said Green Card Holders....that were it not for for the Green Card holders-JCBs, as some of us often called them and those who have traveled to Canada and England have played a critical and tremendous role in the development of Grenada. Fortunately, without these same Green Card holders and those in diaspora, Grenada would not have been so economically, socially, mentally, politically and most inportant, infrastructurally sound as it is today. Were it not for those people, the coffers of the different banks in our country would not be so full and financially stable. Those banks would not be in a financial position to rendered home loans/mortgages and car notes to those who will yet complain and cry foul. In fact, were it not for those who were privileged to travel or hold Green Cards, those of us who never dreamed of owning or driving a car in Grenada would not be so privileged to such opportunities. In addition, it seems as though some of us are short sighted or lack the historical discource of the British-Caribbean relations. Simultaneously, I do understand some of our comrades ignorance. If a person has never travelled outside Grenada, experienced the European, Asian, or North American cultures, then it would be very difficult for him/her to fully undertand and differentiate the vaiation and existance of systemic and institutional racism, prejudice and ethnic discrimination unlike to Grenada. On the Black and White issue: as a African-Caribbeans, slavery ended quite earlier for our people than for before those in North America. Why? The Europeans/colonial powers recognized that our Afro-Caribs were more of an economic burden than a profit. The industrial revolution proved much more profitable than slave labor. Willie Lynch has accomplished his objective in Grenada and Barbados...he proved how easily it was for us-Blacks to sell out each other...in place of reparation, England, France, Spain and Portugal levied an unending financial burden on their territories, as they sought to liberate them...a sham form of INDEPENDENCE.How can a parent liberate his/her child without the skills and resources necessary fro that child to function independently? Some of us have failed to recognize that England has an obligation to Grenada and the its other English speaking Afro-Caribs. England came to Grenada's assistance following Hurricane Ivan simply because it's an obligation...England owes that to Grenada. Grenada has been paying reparation for its independence for centuries...reparation which should be directed the other way around...Were it not for those islands and their inhabitants labor, England would not be as economically stable as it is today. Therefore, when the British responds to Grenada's aid, it's an obligation. Not a favor. I long for the day when we can stop selling each other as our African ancestors did to our enslaved ancestors.
My brother, please read this book "Small Island" so you can get a better view on your misconception of the Green Card Holders and those in Europe.
By: damond 6/6/2010 10:59:32 PM
thnx john for the compliment.but i have to agree with damond to a certain extent.i just think they handed the job to these men too easy.it doesn't really bother me that they got the job,it bothers me how they got it.this really doesnt look good for the government.i understand about all the positives about the state job,but it a slap to the rest of the population that are unemployed.now i disagree with damond assessment about the privy council.we may choose to disagree about some decisions they make,but the fact remains that its still part of our system.there are many governments that come and go but no one seems interested in doing away with the privy council.it was the same england that were the first to arrive to help grenada during the hurricane ivan.they had the warships to co-ordinate flights landing in grenada.it was also england that took in most of the people from montserrat during the volcano.so there are still positives to having england around.for all the people out there that feel they were qualified to do the state jobs handed to austin and cornwall,they should protest the decision and take it to court for that matter.the government need to be fair when hiring for jobs.and again i repeat,the government needs to explain to the population how the two landed the jobs.
By: stallion 6/6/2010 10:10:54 AM
Damond the terminology that you are using is American terminology and it does not apply to our west minister system of law and by the way many of the Law that was made up and passes in the USA were the Whiteman’s Law to in castrate the Blackman. (i.e. when they say it is a right for all men they was not referring you to you as a Blackman back then you was still seen as an asset and better still a Buffalo soldier, when they said that all American have the right to bear arms they was not referring to the Blackman it was a right for all Whitman to have A gun to defend himself against the Blackman. it was not until MLK came along and challenge the system and said that all men must include the Blackman and all men must include not just Jews But also gentiles, when they say all men it must not mean catholic but it must include Rastafarians, even our women was not seen as persons or people so when you writing about the white men in England remember they are the same kind and you of all person should know that racism still exist in the land of the free and the brave. Systematic covert and open racism in America today and there is places in the USA you dear not go because you will be lynch just for being black in the wrong place in the land of the free and the brave. Personally they should make Austin commissioner of the prison and Bernard Coard Minister of finance or an advisor to the minister of finance. And St.Bernard the top cop when Clarkson step down. Just something to think about.