Gebe suspends Gartner

POSTED: 12/2/15 2:21 PM


Rene Gartner - HHGebe’s Chief Financial Officer René Gartner at a recent open house at the power plant in Cay Bay. Photo Today / Hilbert Haar

St. Maarten – The supervisory board of Gebe suspended the utilities company’s Chief Financial Officer René Gartner yesterday morning around 10.30 a.m. The chairman of the supervisory board, René Richardson, confirmed the suspension.

“Mr. Gartner is not capable of handling Gebe,” Richardson said. “There are many issues but the main thing is that he cannot handle it.”

Gartner declined to comment at this stage on the situation.

Due to the suspension, Gebe does not have a director at the helm anymore, but the supervisory board will appoint an interim-manager possibly today. Richardson said that the supervisory board has the authority to appoint an interim-manager, but that the appointment of a statutory director is the prerogative of the shareholder, country St. Maarten.

Chairman Richardson referred to several articles in the articles of incorporation of Gebe and said that the suspension letter came with five addenda, listing the many concerns that are at the basis of the suspension. Richardson declined to make a copy of the letter available to the media at this stage,

The utilities company has a troubled history with its top ranking directors. In 2011, former managing director William Brooks was the target of a suspension when Julius Lambert was the chair of the supervisory board. The suspension was later lifted, but brooks left the company later. His successor Rennie Maduro did not fare much better. He was fired after the supervisory board discovered irregularities.

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