The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

Reacting to mounting public pressure, Minister of Labour, Mr Kenneth Hodge, this week, rescinded the work permit which he had previously granted to an independent construction consultant at Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club.

The announcement came at the government’s press briefing on Monday, March 14, when Mr Hodge distributed a statement to the press corps in which he provided an explanation and justification for his actions.
In the statement to the press, Mr Hodge recalled that on July 28, 2021, he approved a temporary work permit for Mr Steven Secary as a construction consultant at Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club.

Mr Hodge observed: “That permit, like all work permits granted, was subject to the normal and thorough vetting procedure currently used by the Labour Department. This includes a current Police Record for the applicant, valid for the past ten years, which is sent to the RAPF for independent verification – medical record as well as copies of relevant certificates and other proof of qualifications.
“On January 31, 2022, workers at the Resort reported to me that they were sent home by Mr Secary and they complained about his behaviour.”
Mr Hodge noted that he had contacted the management of the Resort, as an intervention strategy, to allow the affected workers to return to work without any loss of pay. Additionally, an agreement was made between himself, the Ministry and Department of Labour, and the Resort to extend Mr Secary’s work permit up to, and ending April 30, 2022, to allow the work to be completed and secure retention of the impacted workers.
He noted: “However, because of this matter getting into the public domain causing much tension and concern in the community, I have seen it fit, in order to allay public fears and concerns, to request that the Resort have Mr Secary leave the island immediately.”

Writing on behalf of the Resort, Courtney Scioscia, Vice President of Meg Connolity Communications, issued the following statement which reads in part:
“The ownership of Aurora Anguilla recently became aware of past conduct of a consultant who was serving in a temporary construction management role on the Resort’s improvement project. The consultant had completed all mandatory background checks. Given the current information, we removed the consultant from the project, and the former consultant has now left the island. We are currently attempting to fill the requirements of this supervisory role with a local Anguillian.”