Murray threatens legal action against THA
Angus Murray is the man at the center of a simmering row over the termination of his 18-month contract at the Buccoo Integrated Facility (BIF) after a mere three months on the job last December.
Murray, who is from Santa Cruz Trinidad, was hired as Facility Manager in September last year.
The aggrieved man is now threatening legal action against the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) for breach of contract following his dismissal via a letter dated December 5, 2011 from the Office of the Chief Secretary.
Speaking with Tobago News last week Friday, Murray described his termination as harsh, oppressive and unwarranted and is demanding close to a $1 million payoff, as the balance of his salary for the contracted period.
Armed with an attaché of documents including letters and email correspondences between himself and key officials of the THA, Murray who holds university degrees in architecture and public health and safety, vehemently denied allegations that he had breached any protocol regarding the use of the salutation "Honorable" when addressing Chief Secretary Orville London.
"As I was new here, all I did was telephone the protocol office seeking clarification on the matter, as it was not listed on the national table of precedence and salutations of public offices," he related.
"A few days later, I received a letter dated November 22, from the Buccoo Integrated Facility Management Committee (BIFMC), stating that based on that telephone conversation with the person in the Protocol Department, I had questioned the term "honourable" used in the context of the Chief Secretary," he said.
"Can you imagine that a telephone conversation was the basis to initiate my dismissal?" he cried.
The warning letter stated that the BIFMC viewed Murray's actions as "very unfortunate and certainly a breach of protocol" on his part.
"We would like to advise you to refrain from any such action in the future and ask that as the Facility Manager you maintain the relevant respect for the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly. The committee is pleased with your hard work and certain proactive initiatives you've undertaken. However, the committee must warn you that any similar breach of protocol in the future would be viewed in a very serious manner," asserted the letter.
In his response dated November 28, Murray categorically denied the alleged breach of protocol and viewed the allegation as an assassination of his character without just cause. He was, however, promptly fired on December 6, with immediate effect.
"Your services as the Facility Manager of the Buccoo Integrated Facility will no longer be required. In this regard, in accordance with the guidelines for contract employment, you would be paid one month salary in lieu of notice. Thank you for the services you have rendered while in the employ of the Tobago House of Assembly," concluded the termination letter.