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Karen Bevans Terminated #548790
03/13/21 05:04 AM
03/13/21 05:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,240
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Karen Bevans, she's been the Director of Tourism since 2014, but reports tonight say she's been sent home after a letter of termination was prepared.

Bevans was thought to be untouchable when the new government was elected because of the upper 6 figure value of her 5 year contract, which was re-negotiated in 2019. If the BTB decided to fire Bevans "without cause", they would owe her 3 year's worth of salary. That's over half a million dollars - not including all of her other "remuneration" and "benefits" that "would have been due" throughout the life of her employment contract.

But, the BTB may have found a loophole when it started to investigate her for alleged misuse of $400,000 in BTB pension funds to pay employee salaries in 2020.

When we spoke to the Chairman of the Board at the end of February, here's how he put it:

Evan Tillet - Chairman, BTB
"The investigation is not only on the director, the investigation is of the pension plan and the monies that were used on the pension plan. Currently we are on a position where we are getting advice on the matter and as soon as we get that legal advice then obviously we'll make a decision on the way forward. Basically because it is under investigation and we are awaiting legal advice then I cannot give you that information at this time. So once we get that information we will share it with the media."

"The director is still working, the contract is still valid. And so we have a lot of things to achieve at the BTB in terms of rebuilding the industry. So the main focus for us right now is to bring the industry to pre-Covid numbers and how we can continue to build the industry beyond 2019 numbers."

Again that interview is from February 27th.

Now, it is not known if that is what led to Bevans' reported dismissal, and neither Tillett nor Bevans could be reached for comment today. We'll keep following the story on Monday when an official statement is expected.

Channel 7

Re: Karen Bevans Terminated [Re: Marty] #548845
03/16/21 04:20 AM
03/16/21 04:20 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,240
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

BTB Says Former Director's Contract Invalid

There is a new interim director of Tourism at the BTB tonight - he is Evan Tillett, Chairman of the Board of Directors - also the man the PUP had pencilled in for the post when the government changed.

But when they got in, they found that the current Director Karen Bevans had a hefty and airtight five year contract signed in 2019 and worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For months, the PUP groused about it - but knew they couldn't do much because the contract had a costly termination clause: if she was terminated "without cause" the BTB would have to pay Bevans 3 year's worth of salary - more than half a million dollars. And on February 27th, the Chairman confirmed her contract was valid and active:

Evan Tillet - Chairman, BTB
"The director is still working, the contract is still valid. And so we have a lot of things to achieve at the BTB in terms of rebuilding the industry."

But, then, suddenly, she was terminated on Friday and 7News has learned that it was "without cause".

But that's because - in a stunner - the BTB's Chairman Evan Tillett reversed his stated position; he claims in her letter of termination that she DID NOT have a valid contract.

The termination letter says that though her contract was signed by the former chairman and another director, quote, "it was never presented to the board for approval, nor was it approved by the board in violation of the BTB act..."

The letter goes unto say, "our records show that the minister did not approve your continued appointment, your remuneration, nor the terms and conditions of your employment. We are accordingly advised that your contract did not come into being in law, is not enforceable and the board is not bound to abide by its terms." End quote.

That's a bombshell - and the board then also concludes that she is not entitled to compensation upon termination. With that, she was terminated with immediate effect and offered 1 year in salary and allowances as an ex gratia payment.

So, no contract, no problem - except we are told Bevans did not accept the 1 year ex gratia payment - and has already retained an attorney to take the BTB to court for her full compensation. Her attorney is expected to be former Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Channel 7

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