Today’s Editorial: Shocking

POSTED: 04/11/11 12:24 PM

The dismissed head of the finance department Bas Roorda fled the island yesterday – not because he is a coward (on the contrary) but because he received sound advice to go because of concerns about his personal safety.

This is shocking because the details Roorda revealed yesterday suggest that he is the target of mafia practices. How is that for a constitutional democracy?

Before his departure yesterday afternoon, Roorda confirmed the link between his dismissal and the fact that he filed complaints at the prosecutor’s office; he confirmed that these complaints are about systematic embezzlement at the Tourist Office; and he confirmed that this embezzlement involves several employees and one politician.

Roorda does not have reasons to stretch the truth, or to present facts that could later on easily be proven incorrect. He was the financial expert St. Maarten needed badly, the man who signed off on every penny the departments spent, and the man who functioned as the contact between the government and the board for financial supervision.

All that expertise went out of the window with his departure.

In May Roorda will fight his dismissal in court and then it will become clear that the government had no valid reason to shove him aside.

When that happens, it is time to reflect some more on Finance Minister Shigemoto’s banana republic statement.


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