Supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) are claiming that they were tricked into signing forms which put them as candidates for the A Partnership for National Unity team to contest the November 12 Local Government Elections (LGE).Seven persons have reported this to the party’s regional office in New Amsterdam.According to them, the incident occurred at the Plegtanker/Koortbradt NDC on the East Bank of Berbice.A declaration signed by one of the persons whose names appears on both the PPP and APNU listOmesh Kumar is one such person. According to him, he did sign a form to indicate that he will be a candidate for the PPP but on Nomination Day, his name also appeared on the A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) list of candidates.Meanwhile, Tulapersaud Heeman Kumar claims that he was tricked into signing a second form. He told Guyana Times that following a consultation meeting which the PPP held last week, he was nominated to be one of its representatives. However, the following day, a prominent villager who once supported the PPP, and whom he later learnt now supports APNU, went to his home and gave him a similar form to sign. According to him, the man told him that there was a mistake on the form he had signed for the PPP and he had to sign it again.Heeman Kumar said he was unaware that the second form he was signing was going to be taken to APNU. Other persons from the community also gave this publication simulate stories.The persons have since signed affidavits indicating their choice of party they wish to support. The PPP is expected to present this alleged fraud to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday.While the LGE Nomination Day when smoothly in several parts of Guyana, in Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) there were several hiccups.At the Plegtanker/Kortberaadt NDC on the East Bank of Berbice – one of two new NDCs in the region – the PPP is contending it had arrived at the NDC with its list since 20:00h on Thursday, but the security guard there reserved a place for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), which arrived sometime after 05:30h on Friday – the same time at which the returning officer arrived – and the Returning Officer allegedly allowed APNU to submit its list first, which according to PPP Member of Parliament, Adrian Anamayah, is an act that has raised concerns for his party.According to Anamayah, APNU members had fooled persons and had caused them to sign documents which APNU members used to indicate that those persons were APNU candidates. He said that had his party been allowed to be the first to submit its documents, as should rightly have been the case, some of those names would not have been allowed on the APNU list.Meanwhile, at the other end of the region, a similar situation played out, wherein the PPP said it was at the office first and was given the number one tag, but the Returning Officer asked for APNU to be first to submit its list after members of that party began to behave unruly in the GECOM compound.Again, Anamayah is contending the PPP was denied its right to be the first to submit its list and he is alleging that GECOM already is acting in a seemingly biased manner.According to the parliamentarian, the PPP will be challenging the actions of the Returning Officer in court. (Andrew Carmichael)
Prior to three women going to police in early 2006, hospital officials say, there had been only one allegation against Gaspar – and that was unsubstantiated after a full hospital investigation. “The bottom line is the hospital responded appropriately and responsibly in taking steps to protect patients and to address the situation as soon as it was reported to them,” hospital attorney Ken Drake said. “The hospital has made every effort to be responsible and to make a commitment that every complaint by patients is addressed.” Soon after he was hired in September 2004, Gaspar was accused by a nurse of groping her breasts and sexually harassing her, according to one lawsuit. But after informing her supervisor, she said, the hospital did nothing to investigate her complaints. “The complaint speaks for itself,” said Anthony Egbase, the woman’s attorney. “She’s psychologically and emotionally injured. She’s getting some treatment.” Another woman checked into the Tarzana hospital in April 2006 to have her gall bladder removed and after awaking from anesthesia, was coerced into a bathroom by Gaspar, another suit alleges. He then forcibly removed her pajamas and, over her objections, washed her and sexually assaulted her. In September 2005, a woman suffering from appendicitis checked into the hospital, according to another suit. After surgery, Gaspar molested her, it said. The following November, another patient alleges, she awoke from surgery to find the nurse’s aide cleaning her in a sexually offensive manner. Three weeks later, she submitted a written complaint to the hospital about the assault. “My complaint isn’t against Gaspar,” said Maryann Gallagher, an attorney who has filed a class-action lawsuit against the hospital on behalf of a different alleged victim. “My complaint is against the hospital for keeping him employed after it knew of numerous sexual assaults on other patients.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “This raises grave concern for my clients and it raises grave concerns about the policies and procedures of the hospital to protect their patients.” A hospital attorney vigorously disputed allegations that the hospital failed to protect its patients. Police and attorneys are calling for any more witnesses or victims to step forward. Police have also sought the public’s help in catching Gaspar, 39, of Canoga Park. He fled with his wife and toddler son after jumping bail in July 2006. Police believe he might be working at a medical facility in Sacramento, Arizona, Colorado or New Mexico. His victims allege the assaults took place at the medical center’s Tarzana campus at 18321 Clark St., where Gaspar had worked as a certified nursing assistant since 2004. Five lawsuits filed against Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center allege the hospital knew a nursing assistant had molested patients and did nothing about it. The suits, including a complaint filed Friday, say the hospital was aware its aide had sexually assaulted patients before he was suspended in April 2006. They also allege the hospital failed to conduct adequate background checks on Ramon Eduardo Rodas Gaspar, a former certified nursing assistant wanted by police on suspicion of sexually fondling or groping more than 10 women still sedated after surgery. “The hospital has failed to take action to protect their patients, having known of the activities of Mr. Gaspar,” said Chris R. Milton, an attorney representing two of the alleged victims.