The Opposition Leader Marlon Penn is refuting claims made by government consultant Claude Skelton Cline that member-elect of the Fourth District Mark Vanterpool is still receiving a salary and other privileges as an elected representative even though he has not been sworn into office.
Skelton Cline made those assertions on national radio last Tuesday, May 28. Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew Fahie — who was with Skelton Cline during the broadcast — did not deny or label the claim as false.
But, while answering questions from members of the media a week later, Opposition Leader Penn did.
Penn said: “That is an inaccurate statement. As far as my discussions with him (Vanterpool) thus far, he has not been paid, he doesn’t have access to do the things that he needs to do for the people of his constituency.”
The Opposition Leader added that residents of the Fourth District are suffering as a result of the ongoing issue surrounding the swearing in of Vanterpool.
“There are elderly persons who he’s helped over decades who need that support, who live and look forward to that support and now not getting that support,” Penn said.
Penn was speaking outside Government House moments after accompanying a committee of aggrieved residents who submitted a 1,000-signature petition to Governor Augustus Jaspert.
The petition was in relation to having Vanterpool sworn into office.
What Skelton Cline actually said
Meanwhile, Skelton Cline’s specific assertion was that Vanterpool was receiving all his benefits as a member-elect except those that apply inside the House of Assembly.
“What I want the people of the Fourth District to know is that the Honourable Mark Vanterpool is a man whose salary has not stopped. He continues to be paid as an elected official,” Skelton Cline stated.
The government consultant had further said: “He (Vanterpool) is working and can work on behalf of the constituency of the Fourth District. He can interface with all of the Ministers of Government and champion the cause of the constituency of the Fourth District. He can speak and hold meetings. The only thing that he can’t do at the moment is participate in the proceedings of the House of Assembly, in terms of asking questions or voting or speaking on the order business.”
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