Fri | Feb 3, 2023

Ramharrack, Grindley made false claims against me – CFO

Published:Friday | December 2, 2022 | 12:13 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter
Yolande Ramharrack, former Petrojam human resource manager.
Yolande Ramharrack, former Petrojam human resource manager.
Floyd Grindley, former Petrojam general manager.
Floyd Grindley, former Petrojam general manager.
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Petrojam’s Chief Financial Officer, Delroy Brown, claimed Thursday that he was sent on a five-day suspension in 2018 after then general manager Floyd Grindley and then human resource manager Yolande Ramharrack concocted false allegations against him.

The finance executive testified on Monday that he was suspended after resisting a request from Grindley to do something that “was not correct”.

Grindley, who resigned from Petrojam in July 2018, and former chairman Dr Perceval Singh are being tried in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on fraud charges in relation to overseas travel allowances amounting to US$73,620.

Brown acknowledged that the reasons given were that he was not attending meetings with Grindley and that there was a need for improvement of deliverables in the accounting department.

“The improvement was little to none in that area. Is that correct?” Knight asked, to which Brown said he had vague recollections.

Additionally, Brown told Knight that the matter did not stand out in his mind as he had taken it to be false.

“So the general manager and the human resource manager were making false allegations against you?” Knight asked.

“Yes,” Brown answered.

Asked further if the managers had not documented improvements that were needed, Brown said he could not recall those specifics but remembered being spoken to about the matters in question.

Further during cross-examination, Brown pointed out that a donation to the Diabetes Association of Jamaica was a contentious issue because of the magnitude of the disbursement.

“We never had those contributions of that size,” he said of the amount, which was not disclosed in court.

However, an Integrity Commission report cited the sum as $6 million.

While Brown had testified that he had initially refused to prepare the cheque because it had not received board approval, he admitted under further cross-examination that he had sent an email to Grindley, copied to Singh, in which he had indicated that he was humbly awaiting the then chairman’s approval to proceed without the board’s resolution.

Asked by Knight if he was willing then to prepare the donation with the chairman’s approval, he answered in the affirmative but added that it was pending the board resolution.

Brown, at the same time, said that the request had received approval at the subcommittee level.

He later admitted to Knight that the donation went through after discussions.

Singh and Grindley are being tried on fraudulent conversion, aiding and abetting fraudulent conversion, and conspiracy to defraud charges.

Grindley is also charged with obtaining valuable security by false pretence contrary to Section 35 of the Larceny Act.

The former Petrojam chairman is alleged to have submitted claims amounting to US$73,620, between November 2016 and July 2018, for overseas travel he did not make.

Grindley is alleged to have aided and abetted the then chairman in that process.

The trial continues today, with Brown being further cross-examined.