FORMER chief executive officer of the National Self-Help Commission (NSHC), Elroy Julien, narrowly escaped being called on to answer a contempt of court charge on Wednesday.
Julien, the witness for the commission in a lawsuit brought by a former employee who is challenging her dismissal, had to briefly appear virtually from a dentist’s office to explain why he could not give evidence at the trial.
In obvious discomfort, he was excused from testifying for the day.
His dentist, Dr Don Carrington, said Julien’s discomfort was likely to last another day, resulting in Justice Frank Seepersad adjourning the trial to Monday instead.
Testifying earlier from a courtroom was Tricia Brown, the commission’s former administrative officer who was dismissed on April 11, 2019. She is seeking compensation through the lawsuit.
In her evidence, Brown outlined her tenure with the commission and the events which led to her eventual dismissal. She also faced disciplinary charges which she previously challenged in court.
She claims being victimised and accused the commission of failing to restrain her superiors from harassing her and intentionally inflicting mental stress and suffering.
Also testifying as Brown’s witness was a social worker who counselled her for almost a year after the firing.
In her lawsuit, Brown said she was forced to rely on Government grants to support herself and her family. She is asking for approximately $176,808 in special damages.
Brown is represented by attorney Farai Hove Masaisai while Frederick Gilkes is representing the commission.