PORT Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) general manager/chief executive officer Charmaine Lewis yesterday dismissed reports that she has been suspended.
She said she remains an active member of the management team of the Authority.
The Guardian reported yesterday that Lewis, along with CEO of the Inter-Island Transportation Company Leon Grant were suspended on Tuesday.
Grant has been suspended with pay as the PATT searches for the source of a leak last Friday of an inter-company report that thrashed the Ocean Flower II.
Lewis maintained yesterday that the report about her being suspended was “false news” that had nonetheless subjected her to “negative comments” locally and internationally.
The report, compiled following a sea trial of the vessel in Panama and inspection by PATT chief engineer Brendon Powder, informed the PATT that the vessel it had leased from Canadian firm Bridgemans Services Group LP, was “unsuitable” for the T&T seabridge and defective.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Tuesday announced the appointment of businessman Christian Mouttet as sole investigator into the procurement process related to the Cabo Star and Ocean Flower II vessels.
Reputation at risk
Lewis said she has noted the media report about her and said the false news has put her professional reputation at risk.
“In addition to my position as executive manager, I am also a Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants of the United Kingdom (FCCA), and it will be pellucid that the aforesaid false reports of my suspension as a consequence of any investigation into the procurement of any vessel for use on the sea bridge, will be damaging to me in my professional capacity.
“Indeed, not only has this false narrative put my professional accreditations at risk but I have been subjected to a barrage of negative comments and enquiries from both local and international interests.”
Lewis said the reports have also caused her “personal distress and embarrassment which unfortunately has also extended to members of my family”.
Asking that the media clear up misconceptions about her status at the PATT, Lewis said she has also sought legal advice in the event there is a failure to correct the situation.