Parking lot fiasco: Broomes committed no crime, party to deal with conduct- Granger

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President David Granger during his first press briefing for 2018 (DPI photo)

Despite public outcries about the questionable behavior of Junior Minister, Simona Broomes, who was seen on CCTV footage acting in a threatening manner towards two security guards in the Massey parking lot almost two months ago, President David Granger says the police report did not find the Government official culpable of any crime.

This, according to the Head of State, is why no action has been taken.

However, when questioned during a press conference on Friday as to whether the Minister’s behaviour was considered a breach in code of conduct, the Head of State merely indicated that the matter will be handled within Broomes’ party, the People’s National Congress/ Reform (PNC/R).

“There has been some delay in dealing with this matter. We waited for the Police report and no action was taken because the police report did not find her culpable of any offence. Whether there was a breach of the code of conduct is another matter and that will be dealt with politically, within the party to which she belongs, but there is  no crime. I was concerned with the report of the alleged behavior of Minister Simona Broomes and as I said, this will be handled. It is not a criminal offence,” he said.

It was reported that on July 9, two security officers attached to the Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) business were arrested after they were accused of pointing a gun at the Minister during a confrontation.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes

On the day in question, the Minister’s driver stopped at the entrance of the store to access a fast food outlet but was approached by the guards who informed him that he cannot park at the restricted area.

This resulted in a heated confrontation among the parties after which the Minister accused the guards of pointing a gun at her.

However, CCTV footage told a different story from that which was reported by the Minister.

The Minister’s driver was seen in the video turning into the parking lot where the incident occurred and stopped a little distance from the Supermarket.

He exited the vehicle which carried the Minister and removed a no parking sign.

One of the security guards that noticed his actions, and who was armed, ventured to the vehicle replacing the sign which was removed.

The Minster’s driver exited his vehicle once more and this resulted in a heated exchange between him and the security.

Broomes was then seen exiting the vehicle, and angrily pushing two of the no parking signs to the ground before being confronted by the security.

The Minister reported her version of the incidents to the police and the two security guards were later that evening arrested and released on their own recognizance after being detained for approximately 16 hours.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had returned the file to the police with no recommendations for charges to be instituted against the parties involved.

The police in a release stated that after reviewing the footage and statements taken, the DPP made her decision.

Broomes has since refused to issue an apology and when questioned by media operatives of the incident stated “I don’t know what you are talking about”.

Nevertheless, her Ministerial colleague Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, who is now the Chairperson for the PNC/R, issued an apology to the guards.

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