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Former General Manager of St Francis Xavier Credit Union challenges firing; members of Supervisory Committee reportedly assaulted

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Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2022. 10:34 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: There is another twist in the tale of Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union.

Former General Manager Rafael Dominguez, addressing the press today, says he plans to challenge his termination which was effected on April 22, after the Board of Directors refused to renew his contract and claimed he had mismanaged the affairs of the credit union, the second largest in Belize.

Dominguez told reporters today he was summoned to a meeting with the Board on April 22, along with members of the advisory committee and the internal auditor, and was confronted with the letter, from which he quoted: “You have certainly not fulfilled your responsibilities as indicated in your contract. Your performance as a manager has certainly not been satisfactory. You have not taken the initiative to formulate plans and measures to mitigate the economic crisis that our credit union is facing. Others have had to take over responsibilities which pertain to you as manager. Three, presently our liquidity is in a precarious state, as has been pointed out to us by the Central Bank. The Board has to work arduously in drafting long-term measures to create more liquidity. Four, continuing to pay your salary as stipulated in your contract is no longer sustainable for the credit union and subsequently, [its] members. Finally, five, point eight of your contract stipulates the credit union shall have the right to terminate the contract between itself and Mr Rafael Dominguez, Sr., at any time, only for inability to perform the functions of his office.”

Dominguez insists that under his ten-year leadership, membership and assets rose and the liquidity ratio of the credit union never rose above 19 percent, where the benchmark is considered to be ten percent, and that the Board tacitly acknowledged his work even as it tried to terminate him.

Dominguez believes the move stems from his efforts to terminate two employees for alleged embezzlement in which the Board’s newly devised human resources committee intervened.

He repeated his call for a special or annual general meeting of the credit union at which he can defend his work.

Meanwhile, two members of the credit union’s supervisory committee are alleged to have been assaulted and injured today at the credit union’s offices in downtown Corozal Town. They reportedly plan to speak to the police and Mayet Castillo, who has been leading the dissident members of the union, plans a press conference on Thursday afternoon virtually.

The Board says an AGM will be held, but not until a month’s time on June 26.

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