Robinson’s lawyer threatens further legal action over 2nd suspension

Richard Cheltenham, the lawyer representing police Commissioner Wendel Robinson has issued a letter to the Police Service Commission threatening to take further legal action if the Commissioner is not reinstated to his post with immediate effect.

They are seeking exemplary and aggravated damages against the Commission.

In a letter dated October 30th, 2018, Cheltenham accused the PSC of disrespecting /disregarding a judgement of the High Court and referred to the second suspension of Robinson as “an abuse of state power” and an “attempt to erode the rule of law in Antigua and Barbuda.

Last Friday, Justice Godfrey Smith ruled that the Police Discipline Regulations under which Robinson was initially suspended do not apply to officers above the rank of inspectors.

Now, Robinson’s lawyer is contending that the grounds of this second suspension are also laid under that regulation which the judge has ruled inapplicable to the Commissioner.

In the letter to the PSC, Cheltenham gave the deadline of Friday November 2nd to be told who signed the letter of suspension as it was not signed by the Chairman of the commission or even a member for that.

He also states that the charges were laid by special constables who have no authority to lay or prosecute disciplinary charges under the law of the state.

He referred to the charges as being invalid and void ab initio and could not support the Commission’s October 26th suspension.

The lawyer also claims that to date (October 30th. 2018) no copy of the investigative report had been made available to his client, nor did they afford him the right to be heard before suspending him a second time.

Cheletenham says the PSC also did not afford Robinson the most basic elemental requirements when it failed to advise the Commissioner of the disciplinary procedure to be applied against him and have only said that his client will be advised “in due course”.

In addition, he claims that his client was given an indefinite suspension as the document did not state specifically the time frame of the suspension.