Legal Affairs conducts investigation into St. John’s Magistrates Court and CM Walsh – the second probe announced in months

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Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh/File Photo

An investigation that involves Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh is now underway at the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court.

According to reports, the Chief Magistrate was notified of the probe by way of a letter dated September 27 and signed by Hildred Simpson, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

At the time, Walsh was in Barbuda, presiding over the District C Magistrate’s Court, and the letter reportedly was received by her office in Antigua.

The letter from the PS refers to an earlier discussion between the two women and notes that the investigation would begin on October 4 and run until November 3.

The three-member investigating team comprises Dr. Adelle Blair, an officer in the Ministry of Tourism; Joseph Henry, Deputy Permanent Secretary; and Rita Phillip Harris, Principal Assistant Secretary.

REAL News understands that there will be four main areas of focus, including the alleged verbal, physical, psychological and emotional abuse of a staff member, Natasha Josiah, and of the court staff, in general.

However, a source says this probe goes deeper than what is being alleged in the areas of focus; and, therefore, the public should keep its eyes on this matter.

The investigation will also address funds that allegedly went missing from the Court on May 4 – at a time when Walsh was serving as Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).  Her tenure in that position ended on May 6 and she returned to her substantive position on May 9.

The three senior officers will also be looking into the use of funds that are generated by the $200 fine imposed on persons who disrupt court proceedings with their cell phones.

The unauthorized disposal/destruction of government receipt and voucher books that were housed at the former Magistrates’ Court building on High Street is also under investigation.

At present, the team reportedly is engaged in interviewing the Court’s staff, as well as Magistrates Dexter Wason and Conliffe Clark.

Meanwhile, this is the second investigation, within months, being undertaken into the conduct of the Chief Magistrate.

The regional oversight body, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, had announced, earlier, that it would launch an investigation into claims of misconduct against Walsh that were made, in April, by a private citizen.

 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Innocent until proven guilty.. However the former Minister of Tourism did say that he is aware that the good Magistrate is involved in Bobol… when fish a come a shore and say shark a bite. I suggest we give a listen…!!!!

  2. A sitting Member of Parliament had some very unkind things to say about that Magistrate. Were those unkind things true? Just asking for a friend.

  3. Let the investigators do their work plz. As with every thing else the court of public opinion needs to cease n settle . Period.

  4. @Just me: Shut your damn mouth. We the people have rights to speak on any matters in the media. Regardless of those involved. No one is above the laws of the land. Not even the Members of the Bar and Officers of the Courts. They too have their crosses to bear.

  5. Lol she out of order and she only choose her gang to do bs with nobody tarl like she she need to go she too corrupt she and she gang and she man Peters the CM so love money you can pay she to drop your case under hand I never see nobody corrupt more than she
    Ask Asot how much time he touch she hand to drop cases look A time she fu go Washington no even have words to give she chupz monkey know who to frighten 😂😂😂😂

  6. Isn’t that guy from Labor besties with Mrs. Bush Magistrate? Why is he there? I say they need to remove him. It is about time an investigation take place but more than this needs to be investigated. How one person can single handedly turn a distinguished court into a Jungle Court and still be sitting on the bench? Get she out!

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