In a letter of termination dated September 28, 2010, and signed by the NEDCO deputy chairman Gerard Talbot-Paul, the board informed Mitchell-Dumas of its decision to end her probationary appointment as CEO after her responses to their queries failed to provide satisfaction.
“The board of directors, after having given the CEO an opportunity to respond and having heard her response has lost its trust and confidence in you as CEO,” Talbot-Paul wrote. “In that regard, the board has decided that your probationary appointment as the CEO is hereby terminated with immediate effect.”
The sacking was the culmination of a series of events chronicled in the termination letter, which was obtained by Newsday.
Firstly, “at the 80th meeting of the board held on August 19, 2010, it was decided, inter alia, that the board resolved that as an outgoing board it should not engage in any major policy or significant decision, and in this regard decided in your presence that, ‘the board saw no value to NEDCO in supporting these events, and did not approve partnering with TTCSI (Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Service Industries) or sponsorship of IRAWMA.’”
IRAWMA is an acryonym for the International Reggae Music Awards.
The letter continues, “in the CEO’s report submitted at the 81st meeting of the board, you stated that prior to the 80th meeting of the board, you had already issued a cheque to TTCSI which said cheque was stopped on August 19, 2010 upon the decision of the board of directors.”
However, “on August 30, 2010, a cheque for the sum of $44,200 was re-issued to TTCSI without any further reference to the board and its decision.”
The board accused Mitchell-Dumas of claiming that the Minister of Labour, Errol Mc Leod, had given the nod for the NEDCO cheque.
“The CEO by her report had misled the board in the said report, to wit ‘that the Minister of Labour had given his nod of approval’ where the CEO did not have that knowledge on her own, but from a third party and without any attempt to verify same, or receive same in writing. Moreover, you were unable to provide verifiable information of the Minister’s approval, which was contrary to the decision of the board.”
Mitchell-Dumas yesterday issued a memorandum on a NEDCO and, despite her termination, signed off the memorandum as CEO.
“I am in receipt of your letter dated September 28, 2010 and the contents have been noted. The matter has been referred to the permanent secretary, and I am awaiting further instructions on the matter from the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development.”
Contacted yesterday to respond to the claims, Mitchell-Dumas said, “Who am I talking to? Andre, I’ll get back to you. Let me make some calls. I’ll get back to you.”