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Local gov't authorities reps demanding apology for May Pen mayor

Published:Wednesday | May 7, 2014 | 1:00 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The organisation that represents local government authorities is demanding a public apology from Contractor General Dirk Harrison for comments he made which led to Mayor of May Pen Scean Barnswell having to leave a recent function.




Both men were invited to speak at a function to honour lay magistrates in Clarendon on Saturday but the Contractor General reportedly said he was uncomfortable sitting with the mayor.



Barnswell, who is before the courts for breaches of the Contractor-General's Act, was removed from the programme and later left the function after the Harrison's comment.



However, Vice-president of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica, Audrey Smith-Facey, says the office of mayor must be respected by all.



She says protocol should not have been dismissed to relieve Harrison of his discomfort.



Smith-Facey also says as a former prosecutor, the contractor general should be aware that the mayor is innocent until proven guilty.



Political commentator, Helene Davis-White, has accused the Contractor General of acting unprofessionally.



She says it would have been better if Harrison had found out the names of the likely guests before hand and rejected the invitation if he did not want to sit with another guest.



Mayor Barnswell is accused of attempting to mislead the contractor general in relation to the construction of 10 shops at the Spaldings Market in Clarendon.



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