The rift between members of the Canefield Urban Council appears to be growing wider with the council’s chairman Simeon Albert threatening legal action against a fellow member.
Albert has dispatched a lawyer’s letter to councilor, Justina James, demanding “a public apology” and withdrawal of statements she reportedly made on a radio station which he claims has defamed his character.
He said if his demands are not met legal action will be taken against her.
The letter, dated July 26, 2012 from attorney Lennox Lawrence on behalf of Albert, alleges that James called a local radio talk show program on March 10, 2012 and made public statements regarding the manner in which the chairman conducts the affairs of the council.
“The Chairman has a habit of changing what he wants on the minutes and that is our problem. Before the minutes goes up to be gazetted, he changes what he wants to change…he comes in and he scrutinizes the minutes and he changes what he wants to change because it has to be gazette information,” James allegedly told the talk show host.
The letter states that the alleged comments made by James naturally and ordinarily meant that, “our client was involved in illegal and corrupt practices at the said Urban Council and further, that his conduct has brought the said Council into disrepute.”
“Your said allegations have injured our client’s reputation and have lowered him in the esteem of the general public,” it states.
The letter is seeking “a withdrawal of the said allegation, a written apology for the malicious, intentional and or reckless act of slander and a publication of the apology both on television and radio media. We further demand reasonable financial compensation to our client”.
It went on to say that if James does not provide “full settlement” of these demands within seven (7) days, “legal action will taken against her”.
When contacted, James said she has received the letter and has passed it on to her attorney, who she said as far as she is aware, has replied. “I have no further comments on the matter … talk to my lawyer,” she added.
DNO is making every effort to reach James’ lawyer on the matter and will provide that information when it becomes available.