Symmonds: Your turn to talk, Mara

Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Mara Thompson is being asked to say what she knows about a contentious $3.3 million payment from CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited to her late husband’s legal firm.

The call came today from Opposition MP for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds who said while he could not speak for his leader Mia Mottley, the Barbados Labour Party parliamentary group must be consistent and take a similarly strong position regarding the Deputy Speaker, as it did with Speaker Michael Carrington.

The Opposition walked out of the House on at least three occasions during recent sittings, demanding that Carrington, an attorney-at-law, recuse himself because of a publicized legal dispute with a former client over debt.

That debt, which the High Court had ordered Carrington to pay, has since been settled.

Symmonds told Barbados TODAY that Thompson also had questions to answer.

Mara Thompson
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Mara Thompson

The judicial manager for CLICO, Deloitte Consulting, has started court action to recover $3.3 million from former executive chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Leroy Parris, Branlee Consulting Services and the estate of late Prime Minister David Thompson who was Parris’ attorney.

The late leader’s widow was an office manager at the firm.

Symmonds suggested that for the sake of transparency, the St John MP should speak out.

While accepting that no claim had been brought against Thompson in her personal capacity, Symmonds she was in a position that she would expect to have an understanding or knowledge of what accounting transactions took place.

Opposition MP for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds
Opposition MP for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds

“My understanding is that the Deputy Speaker of the House for some period of time served as office manager in the firm that was known as Thompson & Associates and I think that it is only fair for the public to hear from the Deputy Speaker on the matter of whether the firm of Thompson & Associates, to her knowledge, would have received the . . .  $3.33 million in question and, if in fact it did receive it as is alleged, whether that money left Thompson & Associates to go elsewhere; and, if so, who signed the necessary cheque and facilitated the movement,” the Opposition parliamentarian told Barbados TODAY in an interview at his constituency office in Hoyte’s Village, St James.

Symmonds contended that Thompson, having worked as office manager at the time the transaction allegedly took place, was in an excellent position to help shed light on this matter.

“In circumstances where we are already requiring the Speaker of the House to shed light on circumstances that he has peculiar knowledge about . . . it would not be fair or appropriate not to also require of Her Honour the Deputy Speaker, if in fact she is in a position to assist the public . . . to shed light on these very critical matters. It is even more money than first attracted the country’s attention with respect to the other case,” he declared.

“I do not speak collectively for the Opposition; the Leader of the Opposition would have to do that. But I have been around this place long enough to realize that one thing the Opposition cannot afford to do is appear to be inconsistent, and if there is an issue that we are pursuing on the basis of transparency, then it can’t be transparency for one, it would have to be transparency for all,” Symmonds insisted.

Efforts to reach Thompson today were unsuccessful.

6 Responses to Symmonds: Your turn to talk, Mara

  1. Dwayne Jordan February 6, 2015 at 4:29 am

    You want her to publicly speak? Ofcourse she will not, whether she knows of anything or not and rightfully so, lets see if shes brought to court to testify.

  2. rossi February 6, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I do agree that Mrs.Thompson should speak as to her knowledge of the funds in question. That should happen if she is required to do so before a Court or an enquiry. In the same way Mr.Keri Simmons the public would also like you to speak on the matter where you were charged for assault on your wife and damage to a vehicle also at that time. For some reason you have never spoken on that matter and yet returned to your duties as though nothing happened. We want to know what happened then because how can we consider you worthy of our vote if you are an abuser?

  3. John Chapman February 6, 2015 at 9:11 am

    But we paid Sir Harold over 3 million to defend us over the seas. Lime pay him over a million dollars to defend them at fair trading so then cant legal fees be that high?

  4. Sam Clarke February 6, 2015 at 11:39 am

    It is time that transparency be applied to the CLICO , as well as to what role the Deputy Speaker had as manager of the firm.
    There must be a continuous light in the direction of the Barbados Legal System and the parties that are involved in the administration of the government.
    What has been happening, with the unethical lawyers that inhabit Bridgetown, is disease that must be eradicated.
    But when you have former Queens Counsels and current ones, stating that the using of a client’s funds is no big deal ( Sleepy Smith, and the PM); then you see how entrenched the corruption of culture is in that profession in Barbados.
    This has been going on for too long, with these unscrupulous Lawyers and clergy, having medical incompetent persons, sign away their wealth to them and others.
    In any other part of the world those who headed CLICO and those who help it perpetrate this massive fraud would be in jail and in the criminal courts.
    But in Barbados, the level of corruption, stinks to the highest heavens. If there is anything such as a hell; then there is a special place there for the like of these scoundrels.
    The real hurtful part is, that some of these scoundrels, mascaraed as political leaders leading this country. After they have denied the children of the poor, and the working class of Barbados the opportunity to send their sons and daughters to colleges, universities, and other higher learning institutions, that planed with their college funds and retirement accounts that that these sum of the earth has stolen.

  5. Mac10 February 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Good luck with Mr Symmonds. Ms Thompson has been MP for St.John since 2010 & has hardly spoken & has been practically invisible in the development of St. John.

    Practically the only time she has spoken is when she is at some function regarding her late husband. To get her to speak about his dodgy deals with CLICO, I suggest you do not hold your breath, QEH may not have the gurneys for your recovery!

  6. Nai February 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I want all the politicians and their assistants to talk from both sides of the fence.It appears that this type of greedy covetous behavior was going on for a very long time.Let us invite independent investigators to scrutinize the transactions and alliances that our political leaders have made to the detriment of the tax payers and for the politician’s selfish gain.

    Lead the way Honourable Kerry Symmonds.


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