first_imgA linesman employed with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) lost his life on Tuesday evening after a rotten utility pole he was climbing fell with him.Dead is Brian David Clifford of Lot 414 Bushlot Village, Corentyne, Berbice. Reports are the 47-year-old linesman was at Belvedere Squatting Area, Corentyne, working on a pole when the incident occurred. Guyana Times was told that Clifford was reconnecting a wire when the pole came crashing down with him. He was strapped to the pole and did not have enough time to release himself as the pole came crashing down.Dead: Brian David CliffordAccording to reports, the linesman was in the area to reconnect the electricity after an excavator which was clearing a canal in the community, accidently hooked an electrical wire causing it to burst. GPL was called in and Clifford, who was on duty on the evening shift, mounted the pole.According to Ulin Kempadoo, who was on her patio knitting, she was keenly observing an excavator cleaning the canal in front of her house. “I see when the thing hit the post and the wire cut, and then the emergency people come and the man go up on the post.”Meanwhile, Tina Dihal who lives one house away from where the pole fell, said she saw the GPL worker climbing the utility pole. “So me turn and show me daddy how the post bend, and I telling he that they should get something and tie the post…”The woman said she watched in horror as the post started to lean further and within a split second, it crashed to the ground; falling first, with the helpless man smashing into it. “He was trying to lose the belt but it happen so quick, he couldn’t do nothing to save he self,” she related.Another neighbour, Chan Kempadoo in recounting the incident noted that the man was quickly rushed to the hospital after hitting the ground. However, in describing the scene, Kempadoo explained that the injured man fell with his face pointing towards the pole. Clifford had been working with the utility company for 25 years. Last month he was honoured for his long and dedicated service to the company. Some of the workers who had gone to Belvedere Squatting Area to replace the fallen pole said they were shocked to hear of their colleague’s passing, saying he will be missed.His wife Mohinnie Clifford, also called “Sharron”, described her husband as a very hard and dedicated worker. “He was a very peaceful guy and a good husband to me, always loving.”She said a friend was at the hospital when the injured man arrived. That friend, she added, telephoned a neighbour and told her that he was at the Anamayah Memorial Hospital. “When I go there, they had him in the theatre. I had to wait and the doctors let me go in and see him; they were pumping his heart but like it was too late,” the bereaved mother of two said as water settled in her eyes.One of Clifford’s children, Lisa, referred to her father as the kind of person who always wanted to spend time with his family. While noting that her father loved his job, the 19-year-old said even before the linesman left home on Tuesday, he spent a little fun time with the family.He leaves to mourn his two children, ages 19 and 16 and his wife.Police have since launched an investigation into the incident. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more


first_imgHOUSTON Jurors on Wednesday rendered a split verdict in the retrial of two former executives from Enron Corp.’s defunct broadband unit, convicting one while acquitting the other of all charges. Former broadband unit finance chief Kevin Howard was convicted of five counts of fraud, conspiracy and falsifying records. Former in-house accountant Michael Krautz was acquitted of the same charges, concluding a monthlong retrial after their original case ended with a hung jury last year. The verdict came six days after another local jury convicted Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling of fraud, conspiracy and other charges in one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history. Lay and Skilling were convicted of conspiring to run a massive fraud through repeated lies to investors and employees about Enron’s financial strength. The company careened into bankruptcy in December 2001. Howard and Krautz were accused of participating in a small piece of that fraud in a scheme to manufacture earnings for Enron’s flailing broadband unit in late 2000. Dubbed “Project Braveheart,” the deal involved selling an interest in future revenue of a video-on-demand venture that disintegrated a few months later. Howard, 43, closed his eyes and appeared stoic as U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore announced the eight-woman, four-man panel’s decision. Several people in his family wept. Krautz, 37, wept after learning he had been acquitted. “I feel very sorry for Kevin and his family. I do not feel like they got the justice they deserved,” Krautz said. “That said, me and my family are thrilled.” “I just can’t believe it’s over. No more,” said his sobbing mother, Diane Krautz, who sat through both trials with Krautz’s wife, Marta, and other family members. Howard declined to comment. Jim Lavine, one of Howard’s attorneys, said he would appeal. “We are surprised, we’re disappointed, we don’t think the evidence supported a guilty verdict,” he said. Lead prosecutor Van Vincent declined to say whether he was disappointed at the split verdict. “The jury did a very good job, I thought, of deliberating,” he said. “Justice is always done when a jury reaches a unanimous verdict.” Gilmore scheduled Howard’s sentencing for Sept. 11, the same date Lay and Skilling are to be sentenced. Howard and Krautz were the first of five broadband executives to be retried in separate cases after the original trial of the entire group ended in a hung jury. Although Enron was primarily an energy trader, the broadband unit was created in 1998 as another growth engine during the dot-com boom. The government alleged Braveheart was a loan disguised as a sale Enron promised to buy out investors at a premium. Both men testified, as they did in their first trial, that the deal was legitimate. Investors were not bought out and lost their money along with other creditors when Enron collapsed. Jurors left the courthouse Wednesday without comment. The first broadband trial began in April 2005 and focused mostly on three other executives accused of overhyping capabilities of Enron’s broadband network and operating software. After that case ended with a hung jury, the five defendants were split into three separate cases and re-indicted on fewer counts. Howard and Krautz were charged with one count each of conspiracy, another of falsifying records and three counts of wire fraud. Howard faces a maximum of 25 years in prison; five years for each count. Unlike most of their former Enron colleagues, Howard and Krautz remained on the energy company’s payroll after it crashed. They were fired in March 2003, the day their indictment became public. Of the other three defendants, former vice president Scott Yeager’s May 30 retrial on charges of insider trading and money laundering has been postponed indefinitely pending an appeal. Joseph Hirko, former broadband unit CEO, and Rex Shelby, former senior vice president, face retrial Sept. 5 for conspiracy, fraud and insider trading. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more