(BROOKLYN, New York); Former President of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Loftus Durand, is taking legal action against two CCM members for defamation of character. He told Dominica News Online (DNO) during an interview on Friday that the members in question defamed his name in the public by accusing him of not being accountable and transparent as it relates to CCM funds.
Durand said that he is still an active member of CCM but has to protect his name. “That is in the legal circle as we speak, whereby two members, basically I perceive that they defamed my name in saying to the public that in their way; they said it their way, but when I speak to my legal people, they say that this boils down to defamation of character. So, it’s from that point I am taking these two members in the legal system to see how that matter can be resolved,” Durand explained.
According to Durand, his lawyers are dealing with the matter.“The only reason this matter hasn’t started in [earnest] as yet, they both received legal letters already [asking them] to retract their statement, but none of them retracted,” he revealed. “The next phase is to put that matter before the court and have them served.”
Meantime, Treasurer of the CCM, John Blanchard told DNO that there was an issue with accountability in the group during Durand’s tenure as President, “but we cannot say that money is missing or stolen, because we have absolutely no evidence of such.” While insisting that he will never be a party to any accusations of missing funds from the CCM account, Blanchard said that the former president of the group was “a bit slack or indifferent” as it relates to using proper accounting for monies received and monies spent.
“We saw the monies were being spent; we saw the purchase of PA Systems; we saw the purchase of a speaker, a podium, payments for Q-95 for our radio program…,” he stated. “The monies were being spent. As to whether all of the monies were being spent, is a different question.” Blanchard reiterated, “I personally cannot say that money was missing or money was stolen.”