Richards swore in each member in order, after first giving a brief account of his/her career, declining to use the microphone to facilitate reporters while speaking barely audibly. Reporters were not allowed to speak to the new members afterwards, nor to question Richards.
After all members were sworn in, Richards merely told reporters, “The Integrity Commission chairman would be willing to talk to the media and be interviewed at a later stage after he has settled into office.”
At that, Richards’ assistant, Michaela Fredericks, and a burly soldier thought to be his aide-de- camp, moved in to usher away reporters.
The media was unable to ask questions about the new members, despite the failings of Richards’ past appointees, last year’s commission which collapsed within a week, and the commissions of two former chairmen, Gordon Deane and John Martin.
Richards said St Cyr was a well-established academic economist, who was also a former Independent Senator and an ordained church minister. He had earned Bachelor’s, Masters and PhD degrees at Manchester University between 1960 and 1966.
Richards said Gafoor had earned a University of London law degree, and been called to the Bar in 1960 at Gray’s Inn. She had been Director of Public Prosecutions (1987 to 1989), Deputy Solicitor General and Acting Solicitor General (1983 to 1987).
Richards said Gafoor had headed two commissions of inquiry, the latest being that into the public health sector (2005 to 2007) with the first being into the baking industry (1976), according to her resume.
Richards hailed Rolingson as having had over 20 years experience in the financial, banking and commercial sectors. He had headed National Flour Mills and Plipdeco, and been a part time UWI lecturer in agricultural economics, and was a well-respected developmental economist.
Bissessar, said Richards, is a professor at the Department of Behavioural Sciences, UWI, St Augustine, where she set a record in moving from lecturer to professor in under 10 years. She has written many books and other peer-reviewed literature.
Richards said Jokhoo retired in 1988 from the Public Service as director of State Enterprises and Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Richards said Seunarine was director of at least 15 State and/or private companies. He retired from paid employment in 2000.