PHILIPSBURG–In an unexpected statement to the press and in contrast to intentions expressed by Government, GEBE’s Supervisory Board of Directors on announced Thursday evening that GEBE’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) Romelio Maduro has been “suspended and placed on non-active duty” as of June 11.
The scanned document was signed by Supervisory Board of Directors Chairman Rene Richardson.
In introducing the statement, GEBE’s attorney Jairo Bloem said, “The Supervisory Board of Directors of N.V. GEBE acts, as per the articles of incorporation of the company, on behalf of N.V. GEBE in case of conflicting interests between N.V. GEBE and a Managing Director.”
Neither Bloem nor the Supervisory Board in its statement provided any clarity about what those conflicting interests exactly entail.
The official statement read: “GEBE and its Supervisory Board of Directors hereby inform the general public that Mr. R.A. Maduro is not legally entitled to represent and thus take any action in the broadest sense of the word on behalf of NV GEBE because … [he – Ed.] has not been legally appointed into any function with GEBE and consequently does not have any corporate or contractual relationship with GEBE … [and he – Ed.] was conditionally, insofar as might be required, suspended and placed on non-active duty by the SUP, starting June 11, 2015.”
In taking its decision, the Supervisory Board appears to ignore Government’s instruction to extend Maduro’s contract as COO and Chairman of the Managing Board for two years. At the end of last month, Government, as shareholder of water and electricity company GEBE, had rejected a request of the GEBE board not to extend Maduro’s contract.
The board’s request was to reverse the shareholder’s earlier decision to extend Maduro’s contract. Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs said in a letter to GEBE board Chairman Rene Richardson dated Friday, May 29, that the shareholder was not in a position to decide positively on the board’s request.
Gumbs said Richardson should submit all documents that had led to the board’s decision in this matter, to assist the shareholder to reach to an informed decision whereby all facets of good corporate governance would be upheld.
Gumbs requested a copy of the “expiring” contract with Maduro, audit reports and all other reports pertaining to this matter, the minutes of the meeting of the Supervisory Board of Directors dealing with this subject matter and the minutes of the meeting of the Supervisory Board of Directors in which Maduro had been heard.
Gumbs also requested all written correspondence between the Supervisory Board and Maduro, establishing that Maduro had been given the opportunity to react regarding the issues mentioned against him.
“Once in possession of the relevant documents, the shareholder will have an independent investigation carried out, whereby the commissioning of an Operational Forensic Audit cannot be ruled out,” Gumbs said in the letter, which he signed as Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment VROMI.
“Based on the urgency and circumstances surrounding these matters, these decisions have been taken in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of GEBE and in particular the article affording the shareholder the possibility to make decisions outside of an ordinary Meeting of Shareholders.”
He said Maduro would continue in his function as COO and continue carrying out the tasks of Chairman of the Managing Board pending the outcome of the investigation, to prevent any major disruption in the functioning of GEBE.
In a second letter to Richardson also dated May 29, Gumbs said the shareholder had decided to extend Maduro’s contract as COO and Chairman of the Managing Board for two years. “In this regard, you are hereby requested to prepare the draft contract extension agreement and submit same to the Shareholder for ratification and or approval,” the letter read.
“The Shareholder has not come to a decision regarding the proposal to grant Mr. Romelio Maduro a gratification equivalent to two months’ salary. You are hereby requested to forward to the shareholder all relevant information (performance evaluation, etc.) which formed part and parcel of your decision to arrive at making this proposal.”
Gumbs said that “based on the urgency and circumstances surrounding these matters” these decisions had been taken in accordance with GEBE’s articles of incorporation, in particular the article affording the shareholder the possibility to make decisions outside of an ordinary meeting of shareholders.
ROMELIO MADURO SUSPENDED AT GEBE- PLACED ON NON ACTIVE DUTY