The Chaguanas Borough Corporation is not responsible for hiring newly appointed Disaster Management Co-ordinator Stephan Kishore.
So says Chaguanas mayor Orlando Nagessar, who in an interview yesterday said that Kishore was hired by the ministry of local government.
Nagessar’s comments come a day after the Sunday Guardian reported exclusively on the appointment of Kishore—convicted on a criminal charge for illegally possessing a fake federal agent’s identification card in the United States in 2006.
Up to yesterday evening Kishore was at work at the corporation. Kishore, 26, served 60 days in prison and was placed on three years’ probation.
He returned to T&T in 2009 after he was unable to get a Green Card because of his criminal record but was hired in his current post in 2011 on a three-year contract.
Kishore did not disclose his criminal record to officials when he applied for, or accepted the job offer.
In an interview, he confessed to remaining tight-lipped to secure the job.
Commenting on the situation yesterday, Nagessar expressed concern and questioned why Kishore chose to remain silent.
“Yesterday (Sunday) was the first time I ever heard of the matter involving Stephan Kishore. When I saw it in the newspaper I immediately called the CEO, Ashmeed Mohammed, because they are responsible for staff.”
The mayor said Mohammed told him employees of the Disaster Preparedness Unit were hired by the ministry at Kent House, Maraval.
“I was informed by the CEO that the matter is engaging the attention of ministry officials.
“It was quite shocking to me because I worked with him very closely during the flooding that occurred recently.
“We worked from 7 pm to 1 am, along with other officials and he never raised the issue or never mentioned anything to me.
“He came to the corporation appointed by the ministry and he was introduced to the council as the new disaster management co-ordinator. We are not to blame because we cannot hire. He should have at least mentioned
what took place instead of apologising now,” Nagessar said.
However, when T&T Guardian contacted Mohammed, he declined to comment, saying the issue was engaging the attention of ministry officials.
In response to a text message asking about the ministry’s position on the matter, Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan said his permanent secretary had been mandated to inquire into the matter, including a review
of the human resources unit at the ministry.
“All of this must be done while respecting the rights of everyone involved,” he said.
When contacted yesterday, Kishore hesitated to speak to the T&T Guardian, and hung up the telephone promising to call back at another time.