PSC Chairman willing to resolve police promotion grievances outside of the Court – AG
Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Assistant Police Commissioner (ret’d), Paul Slowe, has agreed to explore a possible resolution to the challenge against the Commission’s 2020 promotion of police officers, outside the ongoing judicial process.
This was communicated to Chief Justice (CJ), Roxane George by Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall when the matter came up in the High Court on Tuesday.
On the last occasion, Nandlall had asked for an adjournment to allow him to explore the possibility of amicably resolving the matter. But on Tuesday, he asked for a further adjournment, informing the court that a meeting has been set for March 15, 2021, between the PSC, the aggrieved and affected parties and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Nandlall said he has already engaged the PSC Chairman, who is currently in Bangladesh, and he [Slowe] has agreed to engage outside of the court with an intention of resolving the matter.
“The Commission expressed a willingness to participate in the engagement…the second meeting with all parties will be on Friday,” Nandlall said.
As a consequence, and to allow for the engagement to go through, the CJ adjourned the matter to February 5, 2021. On December 31, 2020, Justice George had granted an Order which instructed that the current status quo in the Guyana Police Force remains until the matter is resolved.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Calvin Brutus, had moved to the High Court to block the promotions of senior officers as he complained that the PSC was acting unlawfully and irrationally.
Brutus complained of being jilted and protested that the PSC is using a “trivial’ pending matter of “breach of discipline” to deny his promotion to Assistant Commissioner. The senior cop is of the view that this practice of not promoting persons, who have disciplinary matters against them, perpetuates a permanent injustice against him and others who are slated for promotions.
In his application to the High Court, Brutus asked for a declaration that the policy of the PSC not to promote, or consider for promotion, ranks with pending disciplinary matters before it, is unlawful; a declaration that he is entitled to be promoted to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police; and an order cancelling the decision of the PSC denying his appointment to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Additionally, Brutus asked the court to cancel the decision of the PSC to promote Edmond Cooper, Philip Azore and Kurleigh Simon – Senior Superintendents of Police – to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police and to compel the PSC to reconsider its decision not to promote him to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Brutus contended that some of the ranks up for promotion also have disciplinary matters dated as far back as 2016. His matter dates back to 2019, but he claims no progress has been made on conducting and concluding an investigation.