Regional Executive Officer (REO) of the Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Rupert Hopkinson, has been accused of abusing his authority which includes taking up residence in a room at the Regional State House, living a luxurious lifestyle with three maids and security at his convenience.
Speaking at the first statutory RDC meeting for 2016, RDC Member Rabindranauth Mohan said the Regional State House was a very important building and should be used for its proper purpose.
As such, he was vehemently urged to vacate the Government’s Regional State House at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast and utilise the house that was designated for him.
Mohan informed the meeting that the Government had many furnished buildings at Anna Regina that could accommodate Hopkinson.
In fact, there is a special house that was built and furnished for the Region’s REO, but that house was reportedly occupied by Region Three REO Dennis Jaikarran.
Jaikarran and his family have been living in the house for years, even before he was an REO.
The Council heard that Hopkinson had taken up residence in a room at the Regional State House, living a luxurious lifestyle with three maids and security at his convenience.
INews understands that only recently, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife, Seeta Nagamootoo while on an outreach to Region Two, were forced to utilise another room since Hopkinson occupied what traditionally was the President or Prime Minister’s room.
During the discussion, Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt suggested that the REO utilised the house that was given to him. RDC Councillors were quite amazed at the extravagant spending done by Hopkinson which is said to be depleting the State House account.
INews was informed that the report presented to the RDC by the Chairman revealed that REO Hopkinson used in excess of $1 million from the State House account without proper accountability.
The report revealed Hopkinson spent over $100,000 to purchase decorative plants for the Regional State House. The REO also allegedly spent in excess of $800,000 to purchase an LG television and other items. This revelation was made during a recent report on the Economic Projects of the RDC.
It is not clear as to whether these items were purchased in keeping with the Procurement Act and followed the Stores Regulations for proper branding.
The report also revealed that the REO paid cable bills and a staff salary for October and November from the said account. The staff that was paid was handpicked and not appointed through Government approved procedures.
It is also alleged that since the REO assumed duties, there is a huge food cost to the Region. As such, Region Two Councillors are calling for a thorough investigation into the REO’s extravagant spending.
The Region Two RDC has since launched an investigation into the REO’s alleged extravagant spending.