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By Aabigayle McIntosh
The political arena in Antigua and Barbuda has been shaken by a recent controversy involving Prime Minister Gaston Browne and former CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority Euletta Francis.
The Prime Minister has stood firm on his assertion that Francis was very disrespectful during a telephone inquiry about the status of an investment project in Barbuda
Without calling any names, last week Browne talked about a disrespectful public servant in a top position and cautioned that person persisted in undermining his administration, there would be repercussions.
Just a little over 24 hours after his announcement, Francis resigned from her position, citing feeling embarrassed and demoralized.
She insisted that she was the one that the prime minister referred to in his dialogue last week Saturday on Point FM.
In her resignation letter, she also pointed to two separate conversations with the Prime Minister—both privately and in a public forum—as contributing factors.
The Prime Minister’s remarks towards her, which she characterized as belittling, led her to resign from her position.
Browne addressed the matter again on Saturday, stating that the individual in question “obviously could not control her emotions and disrespected the prime minister of this country.”
“In fact, the type of disrespect was such that she should have been instantly dismissed. But you know I don’t fire people… I did not go as far as reporting her to her superior. I notice now that, that person is trying to draw me into the drama, but I don’t want to have any discussion about it”, Browne said.
He added, “I heard she now talking about constructive dismissal, I never fired her my instruction was to get it done within 21 days”.
Avery Henry is now the Acting CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority.