Vernon Leslie ‘Disappointed’ by Cano Response
This afternoon, it was the turn of Tench’s former supervisor, Vernon Leslie, to appear. He will retire in December after completing thirty years on the job, which he says he will miss. His name is in the Auditor General’s Report as the compiler of the report into the missing visa foils from December, 2012, and in this snippet from his testimony, he recalls interceding with his boss at the time, Officer in Charge Edgar Cano, to return from vacation to intervene – a request Cano turned aside with seeming nonchalance.
Vernon Leslie, Former Senior Immigration Officer, Immigration Western Border
“Of course I was hurt by that because it was a direct attack on the station. And I became very concerned and I relayed this, communicated this problem, this incident, immediately as we are trained to do, because we are reporting officers, there is a chain of command – immediately when Mister Tench informed me and established that these visa foils were missing, I contacted the substantive Port Commander, Mister Edgar Cano, about the incident, and I beseeched him to intervene, return from vacation, because he was right there in Cayo, ten minutes away – in San Ignacio to be specific. I beseeched the Port Commander, Cano, to return, come off – there is a very concerning matter going on here, please come and give us some intervention or some guidance or some directive. He merely replied, ‘I’m on vacation – you guys deal with it.’ Honestly, chairman and Senators, I was really shocked by that response – the word is disappointed, because we needed the Port Commander’s intervention.”
Leslie noted that he was equal to two other Immigration Assistants but senior to Tench, who was an Immigration Clerk at the time. We will have much more from today’s public hearings in Thursday’s newscast.