New management hearing date set as top cop advances fight against second suspension

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Suspended Commissioner of Police, Wendel Robinson, continues to remain off the job indefinitely as his challenge to his second suspension drags out in the High Court.

Next month, he and the body which suspended him will be given directions for the filing of their arguments, as well as a trial date.

On June 12th the embattled top cop appeared in court ready for a case management hearing, but the attorney who represented the Police Service Commission (PSC), Dr. David Dorsett was absent, and the PSC said it was not even aware of the date for the hearing.

It was by chance, allegedly, that Kelvin John, the Chairman of the PSC, was present at the High Court when the case was called. He said the PSC had not been served, while the appellant, Robinson, said the claimant’s lawyer was served.

The court said, however, that by right the PSC ought to have been served. As a result, the court set July 18th as the date for their return for directions.

In October last year, Robinson was suspended mere hours after Justice Godfrey Smith quashed the suspension upon which he was placed on April 5th, 2018, pending the outcome of a probe into allegations he sexually harassed three of his junior colleagues.

The October suspension letter after Robinson’s victory, this time pending the hearing and outcome of internal disciplinary charges of discreditable conduct under Section 105 of the Constitution, which speaks to the Appointment Etc. Of Police Officers, and he would be informed of the next step.

Those charges had been filed in September 2018, which was even while the court was yet to determine whether Robinson’s first suspension on April 5th was lawful. He had been suspended indefinitely, without any explanation of what would come next.

At that time, sources close to the matter said the second suspension was pre-planned, in the event that Robinson had won the argument that his first suspension was unfair, unlawful and null and void.

 In his ruling in the 24-page judgment, last October, Justice Smith ordered three things: the “(1) Certiorari is granted quashing the decision of First Respondent (Police Service Commission) suspending the Claimant (Wendel Robinson). (2) The Claimant is reinstated to his office as Commissioner of Police with immediate effect. (3) Prescribed costs are awarded to Claimant in accordance with CPR 2000.”

Having done that, it meant that the suspension, the first one, was no longer in effect, was deemed unlawful, and the Commission was required to pay the costs that Robinson incurred in legal fees.

However, with the disciplinary charges in place, and a second suspension premised upon those charges, Robinson was unable to return to his post which has been managed by Acting Commissioner Atlee Rodney since April 2018.

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