Fired Cadastre employee demands 20 months salary in compensation

POSTED: 05/31/11 12:03 PM

Court rules on Richardson-case next week Wednesday

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Next week Wednesday the Court in First Instance will pronounce its verdict in the controversy between fired Cadastre-employee Sharanda Richardson and her former employer. Richardson demands compensation worth twenty monthly salaries –a bit more than $36.500 gross, almost three times the $13,700 gross compensation the court granted her on October 13. But so far, the Cadastre has not paid a penny.
On May 11 Richardson took the Cadastre to court to fight her “apparent unreasonable dismissal.” Among the documents Richardson brought into the procedure are copies of deeds that stem from the Cadastre’s public registry.
According to Cadastre director Clemens Roos these documents have been obtained unlawfully. “When deeds end up with third parties, outside our office, they must carry a Cadastre stamp when they are copies. This stamp is missing on all copies in the file. Unless Mrs. Richardson is able to produce a receipt of purchase, she has obtained these copies unlawfully. It is possible that she took them herself, which is absolutely forbidden, or she has incited somebody else to copy these deeds for her, which amounts to inciting theft.”
Richardson has produced several documents and letters that testify to her standing as an employee at the Cadastre. She was hired in 2000 at the recommendation of National Alliance leader William Marlin. Supportive statements have been signed by, among others, notary Francis Gijsbertha, bailiffs Karl Arndell and Solange Apon, pensioned mortgage guardian Marie de Weever and Joseanne Peterson, a former administrator.
The Cadastre fired Richardson because she refused to perform certain tasks that were her responsibility (like managing the office’s petty cash), because she refused to communicate with the management and because she had made unauthorized changes to the register. Richardson has always denied the last allegation.
Later she was also accused of leaking internal management communications to this newspaper. When Today asked the Cadastre for a clarification of the contents of these documents, director Roos concluded that they could only have been lifted from the system by the Cadastre’s network manager. He was fired the same day.
One of the letters supporting Richardson, written by Marie de Weever, expresses a negative opinion about Roos. “The female sex is nothing to him, you are not allowed to tell him anything; you have to be a yes-man.” Remarkably, earlier in the same letter De Weever noted: “Roos is directed by Mrs. Peterson. She cannot deal with people and she is seeking protection with Mr. Roos who knows nothing about mortgage guardianship and nothing at all about financing. He agrees with everything she says.
Richardson’s attorney mr. Zylena J. Bary says in her petition to the court that Roos has not been a good employer, because he did not create a smooth transition from the old to the new situation after the Cadastre introduced the KadSys system in 2010. Bary states in the petition that Roos did not give the employees written instructions and that he himself had trouble working with the new system.
The attorney stated that there is no legal basis for her client’s dismissal and that it has not even been possible to establish that the errors in the register are due to actions by Richardson. She also stated that, because the case was widely reported in the media, other potential employers see Richardson as dishonest and unreliable.

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