February 21, 2014
Edson was suitable for position – Gonsalves

Background checks on the former deputy consul general Edson Augustus showed that he was suitable for the position, according to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}}

The Prime Minister made the point Tuesday, during a press conference saying that the talk was circulating that due diligence had not been done before Augustus was appointed to the position.

“I hear it said that there ought to have been due diligence done as to whether Mr Augustus should have been appointed in the first place,” Gonsalves said.

But this was done, according to the Prime Minister, who explained that Augustus had worked in the government service before becoming a pastor in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

“I was advised that he resigned from his ministry and was interested in pursuing a career in the consulate services of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that it had been generally acknowledged that Augustus possessed good pastoral skills and was a community activist.

He (Augustus) went to see the Prime Minister and was told that checks would have to be made on a number of matters before his name could be taken to Cabinet for consideration, Gonsalves told members of the media.

Gonsalves said that he contacted a senior pastor in the local church who had known Augustus for years and he gave the former deputy consul general a good report.

“In the mean time I asked the entities that normally do checks and they came back with nothing that showed that he was not suited,” the Prime Minister explained.

While waiting for those results, however, Gonsalves said that another senior pastor from the SDA church in Trinidad – who was also a newspaper columnist and former senator – was visiting this country and made an appointment to see Gonsalves to give testimony to Augustus’ suitability.

“Now, I find it passing strange that some who have acknowledged that they have occasionally signed cheques which have bounced are imposing a 20/20 vision on someone in office; those who have committed a criminal offence of stoning a church are now saying that if I had done checks that I would have found Mr Augustus was not suited.”

“Well, I in fact checked, as I have just showed you,” Gonsalves said. (DD)