first_imgTwo sergeants attached to the Finance Department of the Guyana Police Force were detained on Wednesday and remain under close arrest at the Tactical Services Unit, Eve Leary, as investigations continue into an alleged fraud. According to a source close to the investigation, the ranks are being investigated for alleged conspiracy to commit fraud. The source said that the ranks were called in for questioning on Wednesday after a number of irregularities pertaining to the accounting system at the Guyana Police Force appeared to have been compromised. According to the source, the two sergeants have been working within the finance department for a number of years. The source related that the irregularities found are with respect to monies and vouchers for ranks, who would have performed extra duties and were to receive additional payments. Among the duties some ranks were to be paid for were for working at shows, cricket games and other national events. Guyana Times was told that the parents of one rank and other relatives close to the other rank were called in for questioning on Friday afternoon.“This is all part of the investigation process. We are dealing with serious allegations here,” the source said. In the past, police ranks complained that they were either short-changed or in other instances, not paid at all for extra duties. There are also claims by some that they would sign for the monies but those monies are not given to them. “There are lots of allegations and [they] are all being investigated. Information is being gathered right now after which charges will follow if necessary. We are carrying a very thorough investigation because this has been going on for quite some time and we are leaving no stone unturned,” the source said. Efforts on Friday afternoon to contact Crime Chief, Deputy Commissioner Lyndon Alves and Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for administration Paul Williams all proved futile. The Guyana Police Force has not yet released an official statement on the matter.Just recently, Police Commissioner Leslie James had urged police ranks to desist from accepting bribes and any involvement in unlawful activities, stating that they will be “penalised.” The Top Cop had made these comments while addressing the opening of a training programme at the Officers’ Training Centre, Eve Leary, where he also stated that he is looking for a change in performance of ranks and fewer allegations of corruption. He added that while the force will be engaging particular departments to tackle the issue of corruption; if the ranks believe that their salaries are too small, they should tender their resignation.“If you’re not comfortable with your salaries, leave the job. You came on, you were told what is being offered and you decided to become an agent of the Force. How come you have an issue with your remuneration,” the Commissioner stated.last_img read more


first_imgOn Friday the 13th, it occurred to me that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who just released his annual budget plan – as well as a massive bond proposal to fix California’s decayed infrastructure – must be realizing that luck is not exactly with him. That day, newspapers reported Schwarzenegger had decided to bail out the feds using $70 million from California taxpayers. This king’s ransom will be spent over a two-week period to address the inept Jan. 1 launch in California of the new federal Medicare prescription drug program. Apparently, so many poor people were switched to the program all at once on Jan. 1 that it caused a mini-meltdown in many states. In California, roughly 200,000 elderly and poor were in danger of being denied medicine, so Arnold acted to avert possible tragedies. The immediate price tag is $70 million, but it’s anybody’s guess if that’s where the buck stops. The specter of California bailing out the feds was an ironic cap to a series of events in which Schwarzenegger simply could not win for doing the right thing. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card A few days earlier, he released a politically centrist budget that did not raise taxes but did restore $1.7 billion the state owes to schools – the most emotional political issue in California in 2005. In reward for his sensible budget, he was maligned for spending too much or too little, taxing the wrong people, taxing too much or too little, or funding the wrong things. Bizarrely, he was even taken to task by the nonpartisan Chief Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill, whose off-base comments sounded to me like her withering reviews of those awful budgets dreamed up by former Gov. Gray Davis. After all, Davis was busily spending California into a $25 billion hole, while Arnold’s plan achieves what politicians call “a slowing rate” of overspending by holding down growth of open-ended programs. Instead, it funds one-time needs that don’t metastasize like Davis’ pet programs. It’s not too inspiring, but it typifies Schwarzenegger’s strategy to reduce growth until the deficit gradually fades into oblivion. The Democrats are acting horrified by Arnold’s plans to spend roughly an extra $300 million on policies he supports. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, the most powerful Democrat in Sacramento, complained that the governor was proposing “more spending” than even the Democrats. Humorous. For their part, Republicans were up in arms about his massive proposed bond measure package. It would spend an eye-popping $222 billion on decaying roads, levees, reservoirs and other infrastructure that cannot withstand major disaster – or even a whole lot more wear and tear. The message I take from the sniping is that while a lot of us are happy that Arnold is no longer pointlessly drubbing the Democrats, it doesn’t mean he’ll be rewarded for governing as the rational centrist he was elected to be. “The governor knows that voters really want to see that money go back to the schools,” Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer told me of his plan to return $1.7 billion to schools. “He’s still a fiscal conservative, but he also heard their message.” Centrists are a rare breed because the tectonic plates in politics are greased by anger, battles, blame and narrow constituency groups who drive it all. As Palmer quipped, “I think it’s Texas where they say the only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow line and dead armadillos.” Still, the governor seems vigorously committed to his centrism in 2005. One spending idea he has proposed is $55 million to prepare California to deal with a flu pandemic, safety of the food supply and similar concerns. In addition, the governor wants Proposition 42 transportation funds, which were raided earlier, to be partially repaid one year early – $920 million for gridlocked California. Getting ready for a flu pandemic, restoring transportation funds, focusing on infrastructure, paying back the schools? What about tax cuts, identity politics, gay marriage, illegal immigrants or the other favorites of the constituency groups? Remember these wondrous wedge issues that got the governor and Legislature a lot of TV face time but also got them nowhere? Nope, Schwarzenegger has decided to be dull, centrist – and responsible. Thus the outrage over his budget and spending plans have only just begun. Jill Stewart is a print, radio and television commentator on California politics. She can be reached via her Web site, www.jillstewart.net.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more