Tomorrow the Board of Directors of La Inmacualda Credit Union will face thousands of its members/owners at the Special General Meeting scheduled to commence at nine in the morning at the Muffles High School Auditorium. The Board of Directors will be addressing four points as requested by a group of members/owners who demanded for the special meeting to be held. Among the four issues is the termination of the institutions General Manager Yolanda Gomez. Tonight though there are some members/owners who are questioning whether it makes sense for the meeting to take place. The sentiment comes at the heels of pre-recorded statement issued by the LICU’s Board of Directors late Wednesday night. In the statement, Ena Martinez, the Board’s president, goes into more detail as to why the board decided to fire Gomez after 24 years of service, by outlining 11 major reasons which were discovered as a result of an investigation carried out by the Central Bank and a special financial investigator. Martinez talks about Misdirection, violation of conflict of interest policy in the extent of undisclosed and under disclosed related party transactions to the board of directors, misrepresentation, fraud, substantial cash shortage, forgery, unauthorized rules of the corporate credit cards for personal purposes, Improper cash management, unauthorized loan and interest write offs, deliberate falsification of cash card reports and excessive loan exposure.


Without a doubt those are some very serious accusations directly and or indirectly attributed to the former general manager as mentioned by Martinez in her statement. These breaches in protocol and policies coupled with improper management of the institution, as how Martinez puts it, have resulted in big financial loses of at least half a million Belize dollars. Money which the board indents to recover by seeking legal action.


But as they say there are two sides to every story and last night Gomez via a lengthy press release fired back at the Board of Directors and claimed her innocence. She said quite a mouthful. But sometimes a press release is not enough especially in these circumstances. So, in order to further clear her name Gomez appeared on the Despierta Belice Morning where she answered a number of questions. Firstly she flatly denied being involved in any mismanagement of funds and even went further to state that the pointers outlined by Martinez are misleading.


Screen_Shot_2015-08-21_at_8.17.48_PMYolanda Gomez- Former General Manager LICU


“I have to categorically deny that their accusations at me is definitely not true and I am glad that you noted as well that they did say directly or indirectly so that is a very good point of clarification and probably for the benefit of our members/owners, what it means by directly or indirectly would be that if I directly committed the fault or indirectly which would have mean that as they are stated I instructed the employees to do certain things that it would be indirectly whereby I am not the one that committed any short comings and I won’t say fault because if there are room for improvement which there always will be then the manner in addressing it and correcting it should have been totally different, I cannot understand what they mean by excessive loan exposure in reference to loan write offs it’s a procedure, there are procedures that govern the action or operations of the institution and when it comes to the loans write off those have to be approved by the Board so I am not sure where they are getting this figure from, I am not sure how they could have determined a value but there are definitely misleading the members/owners and the public at large of putting a figure and making it seem as if I am responsible for this amount of money that they say is the result of the financial loss to the institution, I can guarantee you that I am almost sure that there isn’t any money missing, there isn’t a fact that someone took any money and I can guarantee you that if there is any variance it is definitely not five hundred thousand dollars the way they are trying to paint it.”


According to Gomez, only five of the 11 reasons pointed out by Martinez in the statement were                                mentioned in her termination letter as reason for her dismal. The other six cane as a huge surprise.


Yolanda Gomez- Former General Manager LICU


“It is very unfortunate and it is very sad and it is very unbecoming that they would put out these statements three days before the meeting, It is very disappointing that they would make such a pre-recording statement before the Special General Meeting where by that was the right place for them to have disclosed this information, the President rightfully said in her statement that this is intended for members/owners yet she had the audacity to disclose it to the general public and the world at large because if it is on the Facebook that is what is happening as I rightfully stated in my press release there is no need for them or particularly the President to be making such a statement of it not being personal that is irrelevant if you know you are not being personal, however, the general public, people all over the country, internationally, I’ve been getting comments, I’ve getting support that it is so obvious that it is so personal, it is very unfortunate and everybody indeed realizes where this has stem from and those who are involve recognize what are the main reasons of the personality issues that are happening that they are living and its further disappointing to see that everybody can see this from the outside yet those that are in there cannot be mature enough, cannot be professional enough to recognize that.”


In Wednesday night’s pre-recorded statement Martinez also mentions that the board does not have anything personal against Gomez and are only looking out for the best interest of the members/owner and the institution itself. Gomez though cares to differ as she believes the board is out to get her and even destroy her because of personal issues.

 

Yolanda Gomez- Former General Manager LICU


“There are like four  pointers listed in there, five actually, the one about the write offs of loans, the write offs go through a process and I is the Board only who can make that decision so I cannot be accused of something like that it’s a process, in reference to the use of the visa card I would assume that as the General Manager you have some authority to make certain decisions and I think for twenty four years I’ve been doing so but to say that the Credit Union would suffer loss as a result of that is definitely totally false, in reference losses due to funding or whatever their claim as I did not report cash shortages and I assuming I was best they put it that way because they know that unlike what they are now claiming they are trying to mislead people to believe that I took the cash, anybody that saw their pre-recording press release would make that assumption and that is their intention, their intention is out to destroy, their intention is not objective to save the Credit Union that is not their objection that is so obvious.”


While Gomez did not go in to detail when it comes to the personal issues she did mention that she will be attending tomorrow’s meeting and asked members/owners to do the same.

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