Former Commissioner of Police Wendel Robinson scored a victory yesterday, March 25, when a High Court Justice declared that his removal from the top job on the Force was unlawful, though not unconstitutional.
Reports say that April 30 has been set for a hearing on the award of damages that Robinson sought. However, the law firm representing the Government – Watt, Dorsett & Hewlett – is expected to apply for a stay of the judgment next Tuesday, March 30.
Meanwhile, with the judge’s declaration that Robinson’s removal from office was unlawful, null and void, the ruling made theappointment of Atlee Rodney as Commissioner unlawful, null and void, as well.
Robinson, after a suspension dating back to April 2018,was terminated “in the public interest” by the Police Service Commission (PSC) on November 25, 2019 – losing his pension, gratuity and other benefits in the process.
Among the reasons cited for the termination was his fractious relationship with Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the Minister with responsibility for the Police and Robinson’s former mentor. That relationship, the PSC claimed in a letter, “is such that your ability to effectively perform your duties is severely compromised….”
The Commission further claimed that Robinson did “not possess the suitability of temperament that accords with the office of Commissioner of Police.”
Following Robinson’s firing, the then Acting Commissioner, Atlee Rodney, became Head of the Force in February 2020, with his appointment back dated to the previous November.
Senior lawyers tell REAL News that this High Court decision is merely the beginning. “This matter will reach the Privy Council,” one predicts.
Meanwhile, a woman laughs as she tells our News Room that “dem do Wendel a big-g-g favour. He was already the most sought-after [defense] lawyer, and they just upped his profile,” she says.