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Ex-LTA chief claims coercion

Nasik Swami
Friday, November 10, 2017

FORMER Land Transport Authority (LTA) CEO, Carmine Piantedosi has confirmed that he did not resign because of personal reasons.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Piantedosi claimed that last Friday, he was called by the LTA board and told that he had two options — "resign" or "be dealt with".

"My departure from the LTA was not in the basis entirely of personal reasons or family issues or concerns," he said.

Mr Piantedosi said if his reason to resign was personal, he would have ensured that the LTA and its staff members were well informed to ensure a swift transition.

"I was committed to deliver what I was mandated to do and when I initially came to the LTA, I had no reason not to do that," he said.

"On the day I was informed, that was the Friday (last week), I was asked to resign.

"Until then, I had no idea what was of concern to the board. I wasn't made aware of any issues. I was given a choice to either resign or be dealt with — whatever that meant."

Mr Piantedosi said it was within his probationary period and the LTA could terminate his contract irrespective of any question about his performance.

"So to me, it was a complete surprise that my performance was questioned because up until that time, I was under that belief that I was doing everything that the board requested me to do and was meeting all the expectations of the stakeholders and the public.

"Once I realised this was a serious issue for me and being an expert and I believe I have a high level of integrity and ethics as a professional, I accepted what they were saying and decided to resign."

He said he did not understand the allegations that were leveled against him.

"Some of the allegations were around my performance, the issue that I did not follow the board's directive, there were complaints made against me which I am not aware of.

"All feedbacks and my meetings and discussions with stakeholders and government, none of this was made aware to me until this point in time to that date.

"It was complete shock."

An emotional Mr Piantedosi, who left the country for Australia this morning, said he was privileged to have worked in Fiji.

"It's not about personal interest. I came here to change the LTA because the people in there wanted change," he said.

When contacted yesterday, LTA board chairman, Vijay Maharaj denied claims made by the former CEO.

"But he (to Mr Piantedosi) actually signed a letter to say it's personal reason, he gave his letter," Mr Maharaj said.

He said the former CEO resigned by himself.

"He (Mr Piantedosi) is an educated person, he actually signed a letter to say it's voluntary resignation and he gave it to us and he appeared before the full board."

Mr Maharaj said whatever Mr Piantedosi was saying now was incorrect.

In a statement issued on November 3, Mr Maharaj confirmed that Mr Piantedosi had resigned with immediate effect due to personal and family reasons.

"Mr Piantedosi is expected to leave for Australia soon. The LTA will announce an acting CEO in due course," he said in the statement.








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