Job of Police Commissioner shrouded in uncertainty

Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney

(DNO) Dominican Atlee Rodney, who was appointed Commissioner of Police in the twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda, has found himself in an uncomfortable situation, after a high court judge ruled yesterday that his employment was unlawful, null and void.

The decision followed a motion filed by former Police Commissioner Wendel Robinson, who now practices as an attorney-at-law.

Rodney was appointed Commissioner of Police in February 2020, three months after Robinson was terminated, stripped of his rank, his pension, gratuity and other allowances that he would have accumulated during 32 years and 10 months of service in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.

In his June 2020 declaration, Robinson told the court that his termination as Commissioner was unlawful, null and void and infringed his constitutional rights; that the decision to strip him of his pension rights and gratuity was unlawful and unconstitutional; that the decision to remove him was unreasonable and motivated by bad faith or improper purposes and breached the rules of natural justice.

Justice Ann-Marie Smith ruled that the termination of the former commissioner was unlawful, null and void.

“Except for constitutional reliefs, the court agreed and declared everything else in the reliefs sought,” Robinson told the media in Antigua and Barbuda last night.

He also declared that it was unconstitutional for him to be deprived of having his appeal heard before the Police Service Board and that it was unconstitutional, unlawful, ultra vires, null and void to appoint Rodney as the new commissioner in light of how he was terminated.

It is not clear what the next step in the matter will be.

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  1. Maybe the Police Commissioner should be picked by the vote of the people?
    Suitable qualified persons can offer their services to the people they serve and if they fail to fulfil their promises they can be kicked out at the next election? 5 years?
    Years of successful command equals the amount of pension.

    • They going to run according to political colors? Will also work on getting campaign funds so they can finance ads? What utter crap. Next thing you will hear is we should have judges determined by popular opinion.

      • @ Tenman:Why you as an INSIDER.Could not guide those who terminated Robinson into the right decisions making.They stripped him of everything to include his Pension.Your Pension is an untouchable item.The man gave 32 yrs and 10 months to the Country as a Police Officer.Then you robbed him of his Pension.Like Robin Hood in the reverse.You stole from a poor man to enrich the Treasury.Cannot wait to see him laughing all the way to the Bank.By the way,if this matter went to the Privy Council.He would win by a long shot.This what would happen.When you place political cronies into positions on Boards and Police Service Commission.Where they would become nothing more than “yes men”.You called that tune.You would now pay for the piper.

        • ..Bum my recollection is there was always a willingness to settle with the former commish. Recall the PM making this clear some years ago. Think you know I have much respect for Robinson. Things got really nasty, bridges were burnt, there was no way he could get back the position. My understanding is he too was willing for a negotiated settlement. Seems like enough effort was not placed in settling this. This judgement no doubt will make it happen.

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