Concerns about functioning supervisory board: Central Bank lawsuit stalls, as judge orders parties to negotiate

POSTED: 08/19/15 4:56 PM

St. Maarten – The lawsuit the supervisory board of the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten filed against Emsley Tromp, Alberto Romero and Jerry Hasselmeyer is a solo action of chairman Rennie Maduro and board member Tom Kok, the Antilliaans Dagblad reported yesterday. Finance Minister Martin Hassink has sent a “distress letter” to his colleague José Jardim in Curacao in which he says that the supervisory board has to be stopped immediately. The court in Willemstad heard the case yesterday.

The procedure continued from 9 a.m. in the morning until halfway into the afternoon. Attorney Karel Frielink, who represents the plaintiffs, told this newspaper yesterday that Judge van Schendel had given parties some time to see if they could find an amicable solution. “They have to keep their agendas free for this purpose on Tuesday as well. Parties have to inform the court within a couple of days whether they have found a solution. If they do not manage to do this, then  the court will continue to deal with the case.”

Hassink wanted to intervene together with Jardim “to prevent further damages by a part of the supervisory board,” the Antilliaans Dagblad writes.

Minister Hassink let this newspaper know yesterday that the term “distress letter” sounds “very dramatic.”

“I have expressed my concerns about the function of the supervisory board as one equity owner to the other. That letter is not public,” Minister Hassink said.

“Everything shows that the lawsuit is a solo action by the board members Rennie Maduro (chairman) and Tom Kok,” according to the newspaper. Three other board members – Hubert Lopez, Robert Pietersz and Marcia Illidge have distanced themselves from the lawsuit-initiative. Illidge was present in the meeting in May where the board spoke about the integrity-investigation against bank president Emsley Tromp and two directors, but shortly afterwards she stepped down because her term was up.

Minister Hassink is “extremely concerned” about the functioning of the supervisory board and he wants as one of the  “vermogensgerechtigden” (equity owners) that the board does not take any more decisions.

St. Maarten and Curacao are the two equity owners – the parties that have a financial stake in the Central Bank.

The lawsuit has been filed by “two individuals” according to Hassink, Maduro, a former employee of the Central Bank, has just been fired as the managing director of utilities company Gebe. At the Central Bank, Maduro was  part of the permanent Monetary Policy committee. But the working relationship deteriorated to the point where his contract was terminated. He steps down as a Central Bank board member at the end of this month because his term is up.

Hassink considers the damage to the bank’s reputation as “extremely significant and serious” for the bank, the countries and the Kingdom.

The Antilliaans Dagblad does not know what the result is of Hassink’s letter to Jardim. “Both parties and their attorneys remain extremely tightlipped.” The newspaper suggests that Hassink’s proposal comes down to putting the supervisory board under legal restraint of the governments of Curacao and St. Maarten.

This offers a different perspective on the decision by the supervisory board to file the lawsuit, the newspaper writes. “It is uncertain whether the decision to file the lawsuit is legal.”

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