Liberia: Senator Chea Accused of Cutting Salaries to Accommodate Supporters

Sinoe County Senator Cllr. Augustine Chea has reportedly deducted the salaries of his office staffers in order to accommodate supporters of his reelection.

Affected staffers who had sought the intervention of the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus and Associate Justice Cllr. Joseph Nagbe claimed that following the reelection of Senator Chea, who won on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, the Senator announced in a meeting that he will deduct portions of staffers' salaries to accommodate others who had helped with his reelection.

They lamented that without hearing or waiting for a response from them, Senator Chea mandated his Chief of Office Staff, Sorboh S. Wesseh, to commence the deduction of staffers' salaries, with the cutting executed in descending order.

"In the meeting, our senator was strict and direct by ordering his Chief of Office Staff to cut everybody's salaries on a monthly basis. Some of us that tried to engage him, were told that if anyone is not willing to accept my order, consider yourself dismissed from my office. Again, getting a job here is hard so we accepted from the beginning, thinking he would change but it continues as we speak," a source in the office of Senator Chea said.

The source detailed that the senator deducted US$180 from the chief of office staff followed by his administrative assistant, affected by US$80 and continues in that order.

The grieving staffers said this is affecting them greatly, sBy E. J. Nathaniel Daygboro they have decided to engage some senior citizens of Sinoe County, including Justice Nagbe, who is a former senator, and the chair of the legislative caucus.

When quizzed about the outcome of the two senior citizens' invention, the source disclosed that Senator Chea cited them to a meeting where he reportedly announced that those raising the argument will be replaced by December to allow a new team on board.

When Senator Chea was contacted via mobile phone Tuesday, July 20, he referred this paper to his chief of office staff to speak on his behalf.

Mr. Sorboh Wesseh denied the allegation that the deduction of staffers' salaries was abrupt; instead, he said it was agreed by everyone in a general meeting called by Senator Chea.

Wesseh added that Chea had proposed to the staffers his victory received overwhelming support from several sectors of the county, so it would have been a good thing to incorporate others through compensation which all staffers agreed to.

However, he expressed shock that of late some staffers are raising arguments of their salaries being cut unknown to them.

Commenting on the senator's statement that he would replace staffers by December this year, Wesseh quoted Senator Chea as saying he would rotate employment for his office since many people who supported his reelection, are willing to work.

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