Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

Legal arguments continue in case with 2 police officers vs Morris & A.G.

- Arguments centred on whether to have trial or strike out
Police officers Mr Leonard Fahie of Lambert Estate and Mr Hendrickson Williams of Spooner's Estate (both backing camera as they converse with their attorney following the first hearing on December 13, 2012) have filed a challenge in the High Court to contest that the Governor has no power to make a delegation of power regulation, which now gives the Acting Police Commissioner more power than the Governor and the Police Service Commission. Photo: VINO/File
The officers are contesting that Governor William B. McCleary (in pic) has no power to make a delegation of power regulation, which now allegedly gives the Acting Police Commissioner more power than the Governor and the Police Service Commission. Photo: VINO/File
The officers are contesting that Governor William B. McCleary (in pic) has no power to make a delegation of power regulation, which now allegedly gives the Acting Police Commissioner more power than the Governor and the Police Service Commission. Photo: VINO/File
Acting Commissioner of Police, David Morris firmly believes the policy of promotion, discipline and transfer of officers within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) should rest with the Office of the Police Commissioner, as the controversial ‘delegation of powers’ by Governor Boyd McCleary has facilitated. Photo: VINO/File
Acting Commissioner of Police, David Morris firmly believes the policy of promotion, discipline and transfer of officers within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) should rest with the Office of the Police Commissioner, as the controversial ‘delegation of powers’ by Governor Boyd McCleary has facilitated. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Legal arguments on whether to keep the matter for trial or to strike it out as is the wish of the Attorney General (A.G.), continued in the case involving two police officers against the Acting Commissioner of Police and the A.G. in the Civil Court on March 14, 2013.

The officers, Mr Leonard Fahie of Lambert Estate and Mr Hendrickson Williams of Spooner's Estate, are contesting that the Governor has no power to make a delegation of power regulation, which now allegedly gives the Acting Police Commissioner David Morris more power than the Governor and the Police Service Commission.

The Attorney General has not filed a defence, but instead is asking for the case to be struck-out by the judge. The A.G. is reportedly claiming that the suit is vexatious, meaning that it was filed by officers because they are allegedly upset over promotion.

Both the representatives of A.G. Chambers and Dancia Penn and Co. were present, along with Mr Williams and Mr Fahie. Police superintendant St. Claire Armoury was seen observing proceedings for the Acting Commissioner of Police. The matter was heard in Chamber.

The case will be heard again tomorrow, Friday March 22, 2013 when a decision is likely to be made.

Background to the lawsuit

The aggrieved police officers are contenting that their rights under section 12 of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order of 2007 have been and are being breached and accuse David Morris of acting ultra vires to section 97 of the VI Constitution.

In addition, Police Officers Fahie and Williams are claiming that any and all things done and actions taken or directed in pursuance of the 2012 Regulations, including the making of the RVIPF promotion policy in April 2012 are in consequence ultra virus of the Constitution and therefore should be null, void and of no effect.

Section 97(1) of the V.I Constitution states “Power to make appointments to offices in the Police Force and to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices shall vest in the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Police Service Commission-but the Governor, acting in his or her discretion, may act otherwise than in accordance with that advice if he or she determines that compliance with that advice would prejudice Her Majesty’s Service”.

Subsection (5) of Section 97 of the VI Constitution also states “The Governor, acting after consultation with the Police Service Commission, May, by regulations published in the Gazette, delegate to any member of the Commission or any public officer or class of public officer,(to such extent) and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in the regulations, any of the powers vested in the Governor to make appointments to offices in the Police Force and to remove or exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices; and except in so far as regulations made under this subsection otherwise provide, any power delegated by such regulations may be exercised by any person to whom it is delegated without reference to the Police Service Commission”.

The claimants believe these sections under the constitution have been breached by the Governor.

The Officers are seeking a declaration that the examinations conducted by the Acting Commissioner of Police acting on the authority purportedly given to him by the 2012 Regulations are of no legal effect in that among other things the appointment of a Promotions Board for the conduct of an examination for promotion within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force contravenes the constitution by taking away the role and purpose given to the Police Service Commission under the Constitution.

David Morris disappointed with officers; in full support of controversial move by Gov. McCleary

Meanwhile, Mr Morris firmly believes the policy of promotion, discipline and transfer of officers within the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) should rest with the Office of the Police Commissioner, as the controversial ‘delegation of powers’ by Governor Boyd McCleary has facilitated.

Morris has also expressed disappointment with the two police officers, who have filed a challenge in the High Court against him and the Attorney General over the move by Governor McCleary since he felt that the aggrieved officers should have sought the internal avenues for redress before seeking civil litigation.

Speaking on the CBN Channel 51 television show Real Talk, hosted by Karia Christopher on December 12, 2012 Mr Morris admitted that powers delegated to the Police Service Commission under the Virgin Islands Constitution was delegated to the Office of the Police Commissioner by the Governor. “Under the constitution we have the Police Service Commission which is appointed to appoint, discipline and promote, that has been delegated by the Governor back to the office of the Commissioner to undertake the discipline and promotion appointments within the force,” Mr Morris had stated.

According to Mr Morris, as the head of a disciplined organisation as the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the Police Commissioner should have that authority to promote officers that deserve promotion, to discipline officers who deserve disciplining and to be able to transfer officers for operational requirements around the force.

“And I am a firm believer that the Commissioner should be allowed to do that or be held accountable for doing that and that is where I see the role of the Police Service Commission and the role of the Governor...To do that we need to have clear transparent policies and in terms of promotions that is what we have done, we have written a Force Promotion Policy, we consulted on it with the Police Service Commission, with the Governor, made sure it went to the A.G. in terms of making sure it met the requirements of the Constitution and Legislation, spoke with the Police Welfare Association that represents the mass within the force and once it was agreed and approved we went forward with the promotion process.”

Mr Morris explained that the promotion policy involved testing the competence of officers, “so it’s not about where you from, or who you are, or how long you’ve got in the police service, it’s about performance appraisals, so we took into account previous performance appraisals, it’s about how often you go sick, it’s about turning up for work, it’s about your disciplinary record, it’s about being able to pass an exam, which involves legislation, criminal code, police policy procedures,...the last thing the community wants is to have a police officer who don’t know what offenses are being committed etcetera...and it’s about being able to be questioned on your knowledge, which is where experience and knowledge comes in.”

The top cop said officers vying for promotion were assessed by a Board, consisting of independent persons as well as from within the Force, and persons who did not make the Force’s standard qualification mark of 60% were free to appeal the scores if they were between 55 and 59 percent.

“It was an independent remark and we did that with a few officers, they appealed, we independently remarked them and we scored upwards...”

Suggesting that the two police officers have moved to the court against him because they are aggrieved that they did not make the grade for promotion, Mr Morris had said he was disappointed that they did not appeal to the Police Service Commission or the Governor before moving to the court.

“My disappointment over this is the fact that the policy does allow for people, who feel that they have been unfairly treated through the promotion policy specifically, to appeal to the Police Service Commission and to the Governor before resorting to civil litigation...So we did have an appeals process. Two individuals concerned did not appeal to the Police Service Commission, they went straight to civil litigation, which is their right and entitlement but I am just disappointed that they didn’t see that they could have come through the Police Service Commission and the Governor to raise their concerns and for those concerns to be addressed.”

32 Responses to “Legal arguments continue in case with 2 police officers vs Morris & A.G.”

  • hot hot (21/03/2013, 08:46) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I believe this amounts to abuse of power by the governor…We have been far too lenient with Morris and McCleary
    • white house (21/03/2013, 08:59) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      This attorney general has misled the poor governor. Thus he carry more blame for these actions. You know better. Shame on you!
  • shop (21/03/2013, 08:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    All a bunch of donkeys!
  • redstorm@hotmail.com (21/03/2013, 09:00) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I must appraised those officers for the courage of such challenge.It tells me that BVI still have people who will stand up for things that they believe is wrong. The commissioner was dissapointed, but I gather that those two officer could not take the risk of sitting down and talking things over with the commissioner. Their fear might have been that it will get sweep under the rug, but the commissioner now is seeing that this issue is out in the open and state he is dissapointed. I believe he should be glad to have such courageous men on his force.
  • qc (21/03/2013, 09:08) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    BVI wake up and smell the coffee...this place is been taking over my racism, colonialism and disregard for our laws
    • qc2 (23/03/2013, 23:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This place has ALWAYS had racism Blacks against whites always strong As for disregard for our laws our own people do it every damn day So please dont start singing that song
  • question? (21/03/2013, 09:20) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Voters can remove ministers, or parties at any time. How to we remove this governor and police chief?
  • ndp police (21/03/2013, 09:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    the grounds in which the AG wants to dismiss the case is pure nonsense even if it is so the regulation rule of or thumb of law was broken and proper presidense are to be set no one should be allow to abuse their powers not even the governor for what he did not got
    • police officer west end (21/03/2013, 09:57) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      I say we all protest, take the day off work and bring the BVI to a halt until someone listens to the police, just my cents.

      • virgin gorda (21/03/2013, 10:10) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        You obviously are an employee, rather than an employer, and have no idea of how much such an action would cost local business owners.
      • @ police officer west end (21/03/2013, 10:12) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
        Please arrange this as soon as possible, we must send the UK a message about their two unwise men.

        • Music (21/03/2013, 11:48) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
          Yes - the two police officers are the unwise men.
          • hit man (21/03/2013, 12:16) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
            oh no both William & David are a waste of time! its 2013 and they both need to go!
            • BET (21/03/2013, 20:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
              you kidding? the last police commissioner from the UK Barry W get messed up by another police officer let them contiune to mess with people lively hood
      • redstorm@hotmail.com (21/03/2013, 14:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Officer West End, You should have done this when you hear the governor has given the power to the commissioner to rule over you in all areas. Now you want to protest, its not too late, but you would never show up, because you might just think of you job. Courages Police Officers is what Mr. Fahie and Mr. Williams is. Notice no other is blogging about protesting.
    • Nicky (21/03/2013, 14:35) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The Comissioner as usual in cases like this is accusing the officers being bitter for not getting the promotion that is not the case the case here is that the
      constitution of the BVI
      has being violated. Such Power cannot be in the hands of one man
    • Nicky (21/03/2013, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The Comissioner as usual in cases like this is accusing the officers being bitter for not getting the promotion that is not the case the case here is that the
      constitution of the BVI
      has being violated. Such Power cannot be in the hands of one man
  • yes we can (21/03/2013, 10:21) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    With the actions and behavior of Mr. MaCearly and Mr. Morris it’s clear that we already have direct rule in the BVI, but if something is not done soon it can only get worst
    • under the bus (21/03/2013, 13:07) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      It’s time the good people of the BVI move from the groundswell of negative public opinion against the governor to direct action and flooding the FCO with letters!!!!!
  • upset (21/03/2013, 13:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I read Commissioner Morris comments and understood. He just state cleary that it is their to file civil litigation. But they did not go trhu the proper channels. Which already exist, that they should appeal to the service commission.
    If they only done that and they were not satisfied with the results of their claims.Then they have all right to do what they have to do.
  • Nicky (21/03/2013, 14:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    In cases like this even the service commission would have get panic to do what is right. let them stand for what they think is right. They are standing for truth and truth will never die although they tryed to kill Him
  • paper boy (21/03/2013, 16:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Boy..!! This is what it has come to, We can't even say anything that hasn't been said already. All we can do now is say what you have said
  • be be (22/03/2013, 16:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What? No BVI outrage yet?
  • train (23/03/2013, 13:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our governor and Police Commissioner must set the example of upholding our laws or we might as well set all criminals free.

    The country is just wasting time and money putting them in prison.
  • event (23/03/2013, 17:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Someone failed to inform me that we reverted back to the days of segregation and slavery. God's speed, you poor soul up agsint thoes two with UK backing
  • Yute (24/03/2013, 11:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Those haters of black people no longer wear white hoods and sheets, making appearances in the woods at night, they are now wearing Vershachi and Armani pin stripe suits, infiltrating our public and financial industry systems and has power.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.