Min­is­ter in Do­minica re­signs; po­lice in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - - Caribbean360

Min­is­ter for Pub­lic Works and Ports Ian Pi­nard has re­signed amid al­le­ga­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct with an un­der­age girl. And while po­lice men­tioned no names, they say they have started in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al­le­ga­tions of un­law­ful and in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct made against three men.

Pi­nard Wed­nes­day ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion, which took ef­fect im­me­di­ately, to Prime Min­is­ter Roo­sevelt Sk­er­rit, say­ing that step­ping down would al­low him to “more ap­pro­pri­ately” ad­dress the al­le­ga­tions against him and “fo­cus on other very im­por­tant per­sonal mat­ters.”

“In re­cent days, al­le­ga­tions of se­ri­ous in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour have been made against me in the me­dia and else­where, in re­la­tion to mat­ters which the pub­lic rightly is and has been most con­cerned about. I be­lieve I have a moral and fidu­ciary re­spon­si­bil­ity to you to ad­dress you on this mat­ter,” Min­is­ter Pi­nard said in a pub­lic state­ment is­sued af­ter he stepped down.

“In light of th­ese al­le­ga­tions, I con­sider that my con­tin­ued pres­ence in the Cab­i­net can ad­versely im­pact the very im­por­tant work this govern­ment is do­ing and must con­tinue to do for the peo­ple of Do­minica.”

Pi­nard said he would, how­ever, con­tinue to serve as a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment. “I will con­tinue to serve my con­stituency of the Soufriere con­stituency pend­ing what I am con­fi­dent will be a suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of this mat­ter,” he said.

Ear­lier, Po­lice Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Act­ing In­spec­tor Pel­ham Jno Bap­tiste, an­nounced an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into com­plaints made by a 15-yearold girl. He said po­lice would be in a po­si­tion to shed more light on the probe and ad­vise on any ac­tion, by week­end.

Prime Min­is­ter Sk­er­rit, who had been out of the is­land up un­til ear­lier this week, has weighed in on the al­le­ga­tions.

Speak­ing at a wel­come re­cep­tion on Tues­day, held in recog­ni­tion of the hon­orary de­gree con­ferred on him by the Lovely Pro­fes­sional Univer­sity of In­dia last week, he said he was aware of the wide­spread con­cerns about the al­leged in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour by three adults in po­si­tions of trust and in­flu­ence in so­ci­ety.

The prime min­is­ter said that once he was brought up to speed with ev­ery­thing that tran­spired dur­ing his ab­sence, he would act de­ci­sively.

Min­is­ter for Pub­lic Works and Ports Ian Pi­nard says it’s best he leave the Cab­i­net amid the

al­le­ga­tions of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct.

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