Police probe assault report against temporary government senator

Temporary government senator Augustus Thomas, left, takes the oath of office in the Senate in 2019.  - Photo courtesy Parliament
Temporary government senator Augustus Thomas, left, takes the oath of office in the Senate in 2019. - Photo courtesy Parliament

Police are investigating a report of assault against a PNM temporary senator after an incident during a meeting of the Works Credit Union on Friday night, at Government Campus Plaza, in Port of Spain.

In a 15-second video, attorney Augustus Thomas was seen standing in front of the head table, arguing with the credit union’s chairman Ricardo Herbert before he lunged at him.

Herbert was sitting between two other members of the credit union’s executive when two guards approached Thomas and tried to pull him away.

Thomas walked around the table and shoved Herbert as he stood up before the two guards held Thomas and ushered him away.

On Saturday, Thomas said the video does not tell the whole truth.

In a phone interview, he said he has spent thousands in legal fees to challenge decisions by the credit union that poses risks to shareholders' investments and infringe the rights of members.

He also apologised for his disruptive and erratic behaviour.

“I'm a temporary senator; I'm a human being also. I have my money also that I worked for long before I came up as a temporary senator. I need to protect my money and I understand the situation. And, therefore, I also understand that people are going to say that my deportment on the day was not becoming of someone who fits the shoes of a senator.

“I apologise for getting on the way that I would have behaved yesterday (Friday) because it's not very often I will get off my rockets. You have to interfere with me for me to do that.”

Thomas, who served as a former chairman and director on the board, said he became disgruntled after Herbert did not allow him to raise his concerns over expenditure by the board members.

“When we got to the meeting..., we attempted to go on the microphone and tell him 'Mr Chairman, we want you to recuse yourself from the chair because these matters we're going to discuss are directly in conflict with you, and therefore you cannot be a judge in your own case."

“He refused to remove and he refused to take our objection."

Thomas said he submitted a resignation letter as director at the start of the meeting, which he claimed was never acknowledged by the general secretary or anyone at the head table.

He said his microphone was switched off and the chairman prevented him from contributing. He claimed Herbert was unaware of his resignation.

“I said, it is not fair to me. I have resigned just to get an opportunity to come in and protect my money. He refused. I walked up to him, took up the letter on the desk and show it to the members, so they know.

“He turn to me and asked if there was something I want to do something about that. I tell him what I want you to do is remove himself, and if you don’t remove yourself I will come in and sit down in the chair.

“So when I approached him, he got up. I apprehended some fear in my mind that he was getting up to do something too, so before he pushed me, I pushed him.”

On Saturday police contacted Thomas to enquire about the report of assault. Thomas said he also planned to make a police report.

Herbert could not be reached for comment.


"Police probe assault report against temporary government senator"

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