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Julian Willock vindicated again; Gov’t drops appeal!

The former Permanent Secretary who was illegally fired by Governor William Boyd McCleary - Now has standing lower case verdict in his favour against Government, compensation & cost for legal fees to be worked out
The Attorney General of the Virgin Islands Dr. the Honourable Christopher P. Malcolm has withdrawn the appeal against the Esteemed Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works. Mr. Willock took the government to court when the Governor illegally sent him on leave based on a tabloid article written in a local newspaper the BVI Beacon claiming that he had a person for one of his group of companies working without a work permit. The court sided with Willock that the act by the Governor was illegal and violated all of Mr. Willock’s rights. The Labour Department confirmed that Mr. Willock had a work permit for the employee in question. Now it means that the High Court decision will stand as lawyers for Willock and the Crown work out cost and compensation.
On May 24, 2011 veteran High Court Judge Honourable Madam Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti (left) blasted the United Kingdom appointed Governor when she ruled that he violated the rights of former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Julian Willock. She wrote “I am conscious that we are concerned with the protection afforded to public officers by the Constitution.” After the case the Public Service Commission then conducted their own investigation and found that Mr. Willock had done nothing wrong and voted unanimously for him to return to work. The current Governor William B. McCleary who said he is “not a racist” interfered in the work of the Commission and illegally terminated Mr. Willock.
On May 24, 2011 veteran High Court Judge Honourable Madam Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti (left) blasted the United Kingdom appointed Governor when she ruled that he violated the rights of former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Julian Willock. She wrote “I am conscious that we are concerned with the protection afforded to public officers by the Constitution.” After the case the Public Service Commission then conducted their own investigation and found that Mr. Willock had done nothing wrong and voted unanimously for him to return to work. The current Governor William B. McCleary who said he is “not a racist” interfered in the work of the Commission and illegally terminated Mr. Willock.
In a surprise move the Crown has discontinued its appeal (left) against the Esteemed Julian Willock leaving the High Court’s powerful decision in place in the former Permanent Secretary’s favour. The basis of the case against Mr. Willock and him being sent on leave from his post was that he hired someone for his group of companies without a work permit. The Labour Department in a letter dated July 13, 2010 disputed that false claim and informed the Tabloid BVI Beacon that Mr. Willock was “not in contravention with the Labour laws and Labour administration.”
In a surprise move the Crown has discontinued its appeal (left) against the Esteemed Julian Willock leaving the High Court’s powerful decision in place in the former Permanent Secretary’s favour. The basis of the case against Mr. Willock and him being sent on leave from his post was that he hired someone for his group of companies without a work permit. The Labour Department in a letter dated July 13, 2010 disputed that false claim and informed the Tabloid BVI Beacon that Mr. Willock was “not in contravention with the Labour laws and Labour administration.”
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - In a move that has surprised many knowing the political nature of the matter notwithstanding the legal class had long expected it, the Attorney General’s Chambers has discontinued its Appeal against the former Esteemed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Julian Willock.

The notice of the discontinuance against Mr. Willock dated April 16, 2014 was made public last week as the Court of Appeal of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is scheduled to sit in the Virgin Islands from April 28, 2014 to May 2, 2014.

It means that the High Court Ruling in which Mr. Willock took the government to court over being illegally sent on leave and the blatant bias violation of his rights and natural justice and won in 2011, will stand.

The decision issued on May 24, 2011 in Mr. Willock’s favour was presided over by Honourable Madam Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti.

It is this news site’s understanding that issues of cost for his legal fees and compensation are still to be finalized. 

Background to the illegal act against son of the soil-Willock

In 2010 a local tabloid, the BVI Beacon, wrote an article in which it accused the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr. Willock an indigenous Virgin Islander of having a person work for one of his group of companies, Advance Marketing and Professional Services, without a work permit. 

In a letter from the Labour Department dated July 13, 2010 even before the article was written and published by a Caucasian American Mason Marcus, the Labour Department refuted the false, malicious and some say racist allegations against the esteemed Willock and said Mr. Willock, through his company, had all his work permits in order and “are not in contravention with the Labour Laws and Labour administration.”

Having no basis now to pursue their politically motivated attack against the highly respected Willock, the former Governor David Peary still sent Mr. Willock on compulsory leave with the only basis being the tabloid article written by Marcus.

Even before Mr. Willock was sent on compulsory leave his correspondence written to the Deputy Governor V. Inez Archibald showed compelling evidence that the Tabloid’s allegations were baseless but, interestedly and according to some former Members of the Public Service Commission (PSC) his letter was never brought to the attention of the PSC to help inform their decision. “A PSC paper was brought to us late in the afternoon telling us it’s an urgent matter, so we just rubber stamped it as they had done made up their minds to send him on leave”, one member recalls.

The PSC and the Governor then set up a committee to investigate the tabloid’s allegations against the Permanent Secretary, who was regarded as one of the most effective public officers in the service.

What was even more shocking was that the committee investigating Willock submitted a report to the Governor and the PSC and never even interviewed Mr. Willock. One senior civil servant told this news site in 2012, “it was clear they were out to get Mr. Willock…it must be a joke that they investigated him without hearing his side….it was clear what were the motives.”

Willock took government to court & won!

Mr. Willock then went to court to seek redress for his human and civil rights and the blatant and reckless disregard for natural justice, a situation most in the legal and progressive class had already ruled illegal and violated the basic tender of the Virgin Islands Constitutional Order.

He was represented by Attorney Gerard St. C. Farara QC, of Farara & Kerins. In a scathing and compelling decision on May 24, 2011 Justice Olivetti, a judge with over a decade on the bench, ruled in Mr. Willock’s favour on all major points - a decision that was expected by most legal experts that looked at the case.

High Court Judge Rita Joseph-Olivetti, ruling, said that Mr. Willock was aggrieved by the Governor’s decision to send him on leave and for setting up an investigative committee.  

The court, in its ruling in Mr. Willock’s favour, stated that the PSC could not use the report because it was not valid and tossed it out. The court also said that all of Willock’s rights were violated because of the illegal act by the Governor acting on the advice of the PSC.

The judgement states; “First, the very composition of the Committee being composed as it was of two persons who were not public officers would have rendered it ultra vires to the Regulations.” The decision also said that “the committee was also illegal, as the mandate given to it by its terms of reference divested the PSC of any residual power”.

The court also made clear that, if Mr. Willock, who many had already concluded did nothing wrong and his case was nothing more than a witch hunt against the seasoned civil servant known for getting things done, “can establish that the PSC relied on the report resulting in an unfair hearing, then he will have recourse in the courts for a remedy.”

Justice Joseph-Olivetti said the Governor had no power to appoint the Committee and its proceeds and its report were invalid. The Judge also ruled that the government must pay the court cost incurred by Mr. Willock.

The Judge held the view that while the Governor in certain circumstances can appoint an investigation panel, Willock's case did not warrant such action from the Governor.

In her conclusion, the learned judge wrote, “I am conscious that we are concerned with the protection afforded to public officers by the Constitution.”

The government then appealed the case which had dragged on for almost another two years and just last week has withdrawn the appeal.

In 2012 in an unanimous decision the Public Service Commission ruled that Mr. Willock should be reinstated to his post as Permanent Secretary after their own investigation and found that Mr. Willock did nothing wrong.

The matter is now left in the hands of negotiators for both the government and Willock's lawyers. In the Appeal matter Mr. Willock was represented by Attorney Stephen R. Daniels.

This news site caught up with Mr. Willock via telephone who offered little comment, but said “this should be a victory for all Public Officers” and said he had to take another phone call and promised to call us back, but has not up until post time.

Mr. Willock’s background

Mr. Willock, a sixth generation Virgin Islander who grew up in Sea Cows Bay on the main island of Tortola, had lived, worked and studied in New York, USA where he spent 10 years before moving back home.

He is the grandson of the late first Entrepreneur in Sea Cows Bay Captain Joshua Leonard. His last job in New York City was on Wall Street. While an undergraduate student, Mr. Willock also did an internship in Washington DC with then Senate Republican Minority Leader Robert J. Dole.

On his return home to the Virgin Islands  in 1997 he was appointed as Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. From that post he was promoted and appointed as the Director of Water and Sewerage Department where he was credited with turning around that Department and tripling revenue in just three short years. Mr. Willock was then promoted yet again this time to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works.

The esteemed Willock holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Political Science and Economics, from the University of Buffalo [SUNY] and a certificate in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies. 

He also has one year Graduate Law School at the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom, along with both private and public sector senior level work experience. 

Mr. Willock now runs his own public relations and consulting firm, Advance Marketing and Professional Services, as well as other small businesses.

32 Responses to “Julian Willock vindicated again; Gov’t drops appeal!”

  • ... (22/04/2014, 08:11) Like (33) Dislike (4) Reply
    I knew Willock will have the last smile all the way to the bank
    • general (23/04/2014, 05:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      well me bouy you won but the government broke as hell so don't take no check ,money transfer only.....
    • Nadine (24/04/2014, 20:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Marcus and McCleary must have thought they were dealing with a simpleton who would go down quietly without a fight. How in the hell can McCleary fire someone because of a story written by a nobody like Marcus, without proper investigation? Mr. Willock has proven there was a lynch team involved in this and thank goodness the good Judge Mrs. Rita Olivetti had the expertise to see through this. Mr. Willock, I say to you congratulations on your win and let this be a learning experience in case this happens in the future to anyone else. At least we all know now that the Government can be sued and they have a good chance of winning if everything is presented properly.
  • shark (22/04/2014, 08:38) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    Congratulations Mr. Willock justice is long but certain I expected this!
  • civil servant (22/04/2014, 08:47) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    The world is a circle the same forces who try to screw Mr. Willock dem ppl bow tie, FS, lady with silver hair, mvw, and others will get their turn. The same thing they did to Charmine, Maynard, the police offices and many others God does not sleep
  • BRONZE NAZARETH (22/04/2014, 08:55) Like (31) Dislike (6) Reply
    Anytime ONE has to announce he/she is not a racist.........THEY ARE RACIST!
  • VG (22/04/2014, 09:44) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope other civil servants will go fight too for their rights
  • insiders (22/04/2014, 09:53) Like (17) Dislike (15) Reply
    We miss the man from the service as no one could run water and sewerage and the ministry like willock
    • Ajic (22/04/2014, 16:35) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
      I was just thinking the same thing. Water and Sewage really need you my friend. No real leadeship up there.
  • focus (22/04/2014, 09:58) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    There was no other outcome to this. Now this add to the list of govt. pay out but it is also a great day for JUSTICE in our country.
  • fmp (22/04/2014, 10:24) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Very happy for you my friend, JW
  • qc (22/04/2014, 10:26) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    I am just happy this is over need to know also about the police case and the former manager of the bvi ports case too
  • Solid as a rock (22/04/2014, 11:01) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    Police wait your victory is on it way, it's coming! Yes it's coming! I hear those chains falling!!!!!!
  • will (22/04/2014, 11:53) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Be very careful when firing individuals.

    This will now cost the taxpayers who barely making ends meet.
  • mvw (22/04/2014, 12:40) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Boy me and jw will have plenty to spend.
  • church (22/04/2014, 13:24) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    GOD BLESS YOU JULIAN THE PRAYERS OF YOUR MOTHER MRS. TOBIN
  • yo large esteem one (22/04/2014, 13:45) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Money in the bank!
  • ????? (22/04/2014, 14:44) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    How come we aint see this on the blue ndp site?????
  • DON Q (22/04/2014, 15:53) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    Haaaaaaa now this is good news kudos
  • ahh boy (22/04/2014, 18:36) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    Now this real sweet mele
  • jah (22/04/2014, 20:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can't we all just get along!
  • opps (22/04/2014, 21:33) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    Willock back on top again
  • wise up (22/04/2014, 22:35) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    only now that bald head minister will come after you; willock !!!!!!
  • Rastarite (23/04/2014, 04:37) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    A guy like willock with his talents why he wasting time with Inez and dem people?
  • wise up (23/04/2014, 06:44) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Inez them need to leave the dam man alone and let him get on with his life; looks like the NDP Government is dealing with his matter far better than his VIP friends.....run go talk that(look at the facts now !!!!!)
  • don (23/04/2014, 11:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It will not end here they going to try to shut down vino next
  • Lait 521 (23/04/2014, 13:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    hope Julian now return to SDA for he has been blessed
  • my yute (24/04/2014, 18:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Teck dat mw he still the man!


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