Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry looking into the operations and management of the Georgetown City Council, Justice Cecil Kennard, has said that he has no apology to make over telling the Georgetown City Mayor to “shut up and listen” during her testimony before the Commission on Friday.
“I have no apology for making that statement”, he said.
At this morning’s hearing, a defiant Justice Kennard said he conducts his duties in accordance with guidance from “the Lord” and he takes his duties seriously. He brushed aside the firestorm over his remarks.
On social media and in the letter columns of the daily newspapers, the Commission Chairman came under fire over the weekend for telling the Mayor “Can you shut up and listen” and that she was being rude for asking a question of the Commission Counsel after being asked a question.
While the Mayor has not said anything else publicly about the statement, many politicians and political watchers have dubbed Kennard’s remarks as “callous” with some pointing out that it may even be sexist since they do not believe he would have made similar remarks had it been a man on the stand.
The Mayor is expected to return to the Commission later this week to continue answering questions.
On Friday at the Commission hearing, the Mayor was explaining that although she is the Mayor, she would have to follow the instructions of the majority of the Council and would not make decisions on her own.
When it was put to the Mayor by Attorney Lammy that by presiding over the City Council’s meeting, she had authority over the other Councillors, the Mayor objected.
“I don’t hold authority over the other Councillors. All Councillors are independent Councillors and and they make their own decisions. Collectively, the Council makes a decision and I abide by whatever decision is made by the Councillors. So if the majority of the Council decide that this is the way we should go, that is the way the Chairman or the Mayor, who is presiding, will have to make that decision and that is why by a majority decision, the Council will now do A, B, C or D”, Mayor Chase-Green explained.
When the Attorney asked the Mayor whether she understands what the word “preside” means, she said she does but added that she does not make unilateral decisions.
It was at that stage that the Mayor was told that as Mayor, she was the Captain of the ship.
She responded by saying “that even though you are the Captain of the ship, if there is a storm ahead of you, and all of the sailors are saying to you that you can’t go into the storm. Will you continue to go into the storm?”, she questioned.
The Commission’s Chairman Justice Cecil Kennard interjected and told her that she should not be asking questions of the Attorney. When the Mayor said she did not appreciate the Attorney’s question, Justice Kennard told her that she should say that and not be rude.