Recent comments attributed to Mrs. Helena Knuckles, an employee of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (“LPRC”), in the Monday, December 29, 2014, edition of the Microscope Newspaper entitled “Witch Hunt at LPRC”, has been termed as a distortion of the facts and out of order.
A Release issued by LPRC on Tuesday, December 30, further described comments by Mrs. Knuckles as false and misleading and wondered why their employee, Helena Knuckles, would question the wisdom of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as it relates to the appointment of the Deputy Managing Director for Operations at the company.
According to the Release, it is the president who is responsible to appoint the Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director for Administration and Deputy Managing Director for Operations. Mrs. Knuckles erroneously indicated that according to the company’s handbook, “when there is a vacancy, the entity should look within before advertising the position for someone to fill in the gap”.
This is indeed far from the truth as the three positions mentioned above are the prerogative of the president relative to appointment.
Besides, the insinuation made by Mrs. Knuckles that Mr. Edwin Sarvice, the newly appointed Deputy Managing Director for Operations of LPRC was appointed to such position because he and the Managing Director T. Nelson Williams, II are from the same fraternity is unfortunate, baseless and a pathological lie. And to also describe Mr. Sarvice, a fellow Liberian “a stranger” is indeed divisive, inimical, worrisome and must not be taken lightly.
Also, it is worth noting that there is no section or department at LPRC called Policy and Procurement as falsely indicated by Mrs. Knuckles, but rather the Policy and Compliance section which she is a member of.
We understand the frustration of Mrs. Knuckles as she serves her suspension for gross insubordination and is therefore keen on spreading misinformation. In furtherance, Mrs. Knuckles has shown she is confused and inconsistent as she previously sent a text message to the Managing Director T. Nelson Williams, II apologizing for making similar comments and after such apology has decided to go to the press. Below is her apology via text to Mr. Williams. Please note it is verbatim.
“Chief, I just found out that it wasn’t you who recommended this guy. I am very, very sorry, I was wrong you. I cannot question the Madam recommendation/appoint. I was wrongly inform that the recommendation of this guy came from you. To err is human and to forgive is divine. I was wrong. As a leader you should try and explain to your subordinates the problems on the ground. I am not at work, I am on my vacation presently, I am not too big or too pride to say I am sorry. I am sorry yah my friend and MD. You know you my MD and I am your employee. Helena Knuckles”.
Finally, Mr. Bobby G. Brown, Manager of the Maintenance Department of LPRC has distanced himself from comments attributed to Mrs. Knuckles in the Microscope Newspaper. Mrs. Knuckles among other things questioned “why would the Managing Director appoint Mr. Sarvice as Deputy Managing Director for Operations when in fact Mr. Brown is qualified for said position. Below are Mr. Brown’s comments distancing himself from Mrs. Knuckles assertions.
“The assertions published in the Monday, December 29, 2014, edition of the Microscope newspaper under the caption “Witch Hunt at LPRC” attributed to Mrs. Helena Knuckles in which I was referenced as a candidate to replace the outgoing Deputy Managing Director for Operations, Aaron J. Wheagar,I, are contrary to my thoughts and aspiration.
In my seventeen years of consistent service at LPRC the position of Managing Director and Deputies has always been filled by the “Chief Executive”, unremembered by fraternal associations or persuasions. This is constant with presidential prerogative.