Rishatha Nicholls, former secretary to Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, says she has received the severance pay a tribunal ordered Eustace to pay her, having fired her last March, after 12 years of service.
Nicholls contested her dismissal with the Labour Department, and an initial ruling and an appeal went in her favour.
The appeal tribunal ordered Eustace to pay Nicholls EC$ EC$16,199.99 by last Friday.
A radio newscast this week said that Eustace was yet to make the payment, but the Opposition Leader, in a call to the radio station on Wednesday, said he sent the payment to Nicholls by registered mail on April 14.
“A lot of things have been said publicly. I have kept quiet all the time; I have not made any real statement on the matter. And today is the first time I am going to say something,” Eustace said.
“I want to point out that I have — and the New Democratic Party, when we get into office, we will have — zero tolerance for corruption and petty theft,” Eustace said.
“I never expected to win at the tribunal,” he further said, noting that the tribunal is a legal process…
“All I am saying, the payment was made and a New Democratic Party administration would have no tolerance for corruption and petty theft,” Eustace further said.
Meanwhile, Nicholls told I-Witness News on Thursday that after hearing Eustace on the radio, she collected the cheque and took it to the Labour Department.
She said that the tribunal had ordered that the payment be made via the Labour Commissioner.
“So, for clarity on the record of the state, I had to take the letter to the Labour Commissioner, in order for them to have their record that the matter was settled.
“The payment is in full, right down to 99 cents. The total amount was issued to me,” she said.
“I thank God for the fact that my objective was clear, and what I set out to do from the very beginning, I accomplished. I am grateful that I didn’t have to create a problem in order to get a problem solved, because sometimes we do not have as much faith as we should have as citizens in the systems that are in place to look after us a citizens,” Nicholls further told I-Witness News.
“I am glad that the system worked and worked fairly in light of the fact that Mrs. Nicholls appears to be a small individual and the Leader of the Opposition appears to be a big, powerful politician. So, thank God that he is the one who resolved the matter in this regard,”
Nicholls says that she is now concentrating on rebuilding her family, completing an associate degree in business studies at the Community College, and finding a job.