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PSC unanimous-Reinstate Permanent Secretary Julian Willock

Powerful forces line-up to keep the esteemed Willock out of office, new charges threatened!
The Public Service Commission has reportedly ruled in a unanimous decision last week to reinstated Julian Willock to his job as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works. However, some powerful forces have been allegedly opposed to his return and seeking through the DPP to bring new charges against the esteemed PS. Some in the community has described this as a 'witch hunt' and travesty of justice, after Willock won in the courts and now through the PSC.
Some have described the blatant injustice done to Mr. Willock of being sent on leave after a Tabloid article as him being the 'poster child' for the former government's policy to hire Biwater to supply water and fix the sewerage system. Mr. Willock was also the officer who was given the key by Ocean Conversion for the Baughers Bay desalination plant. The key was voluntarily handed over to the government even after the former government had made it clear that they had no intention of getting into the desalination water business. Photo: GIS
Some have described the blatant injustice done to Mr. Willock of being sent on leave after a Tabloid article as him being the 'poster child' for the former government's policy to hire Biwater to supply water and fix the sewerage system. Mr. Willock was also the officer who was given the key by Ocean Conversion for the Baughers Bay desalination plant. The key was voluntarily handed over to the government even after the former government had made it clear that they had no intention of getting into the desalination water business. Photo: GIS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - After being sent on leave on the only basis in 2010 of a local tabloid article which accused Julian Willock, the esteemed Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Communications and Works of having persons work for one of his companies without work permits, the saga has taken a new turn.

According to this news site’s sources, the Public Service Commission (PSC), a constitutional body charged with addressing civil servants promotion, disciplinary and transfer matters among others, had sometime last week taken up again the matter of Mr. Willock’s leave to bring an end to this long outstanding situation now almost two years old.

It is this news site’s understanding that the Governor, after the High Court had dismissed the first set of charges against the PS, had tacked on new charges on Mr. Willock.

It is unclear what those charges were, however, when the PSC investigated those new charges brought to them by Governor Boyd McCleary, they voted unanimously to dismiss the charges in a 5 to 0 vote, in favour of re-instating Mr. Willock to his job, according to sources in government who have been following this matter.

After two wins for Willock- we got to get him! New charges being forced

After Mr. Willock won in court and now through the Public Service Commission, many sources close to this matter have advised this news site that it is not over. According to two sources inside government, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) is now allegedly being forced to bring new charges against Mr. Willock and bring them as “criminal charges” for allegedly violating Labour and Immigration laws. This is even after both the Labour and Immigration departments have found no evidence of such violations and had reported this to the PSC.

The source said, “I am not sure what Willock did to those people but they are out to get him by any means necessary…he must be the poster child for Biwater and for accepting those keys for the water plant…they are determine to get him one way or the other.”

The sources also claimed that there may have been inappropriate meetings between the DPP and "very senior persons" in regards to pursuing this matter against Mr. Willock. However, the source has not presented any evidence to this news site of date of meetings, who met with the DPP and what they are trying to achieve. The same source told this news site that “they” also went up to the Water and Sewerage Department where Mr. Willock was the director to “see if they could find something”.

If you want to know the definition of a “witch hunt”, then this is a perfect example another senior civil servant told this news site.

Mr. Willock also served as the Director of the Water and Sewerage Department where he turned around the department and in 5 years raised over 11 million dollars in revenue, the first time in the history of the Department. Since his departure from the department, many have claimed it “went down”.

Two prominent local Attorneys told this news site, that if those meetings took place with the DPP then that would have been illegal as the DPP office under the constitution should be “independent from political or other interference and influence…that alone is grounds for Judicial Review…this is now clearly agenda driven..but who do you turn to outside of the courts for remedy?”

When contacted, Governor McCleary said he has no comments at this time and the Office of the DPP and Human Resources Department did not return calls. Governor McCleary had stated to ZBVI’s reporter Zan Lewis when he first came to the VI that Mr. Willock was not suspended but sent on leave and if he is cleared by the PSC he will be reinstated to his post.

Many public officers and the public are watching the Governor closely on this matter now that the PSC has reportedly ruled for Willock’s re-instatement.

History of Willock’s leave following Tabloid article

In July of 2010, the local tabloid the BVI Beacon which many described as a partisan paper aligned with one of the political parties, published an article in which it accused Mr. Willock of having persons worked for one of his group of companies without a work permit. Just on this newspaper article, the former Governor David Pearey sent Mr. Willock on leave from his post without giving the officer a chance to respond to the allegations that many in the community had described as false, malicious, politically motivated, outrageous, racist, and a weak and deliberate attempt to undermine Mr. Willock’s good character as well as his well established professional integrity.

Willock won case against government

Mr. Willock, then sought Judicial Review after the Government sent him on leave after simply reading the same article in the tabloid the BVI Beacon in which it claimed Willock had persons working in the Virgin Islands for one of his group of companies without work permits.

The Labour Department had already dismissed this claim when they wrote in a letter to the same newspaper, that Willock had all his work permits in order and had violated no Labour laws. Judge Joseph-Olivetti, in her May 24, 2011 ruling, a year later after Willock’s compulsory leave, said that Mr. Willock was aggrieved by the Governor’s decision to send him on leave and for setting up an investigative committee.

The government has since appeal the case which is expected to be heard later this year. Mr. Willock according to sources, will be represented on the appeal by the law firm of Farara & Kerins who won the first case against the Government.

Committee set up illegally, report submitted not valid

Some seven months later after being sent on leave, the Government set up a committee to investigate the newspaper's allegations, which most in the legal fraternity had already said was an illegal committee and it was the duty of the PSC under the law to investigate the matter. The committee headed by a local Attorney submitted a report but never interviewed the highly respected Willock.

Mr. Willock wrote the Deputy Governor and the then Director of Human Resources two days after the tabloid's report, however, the PSC did not see his response to consider Willock’s facts on the matter, as they had already advised the former Governor David Pearey, to send Willock on leave simply by reading the newspaper article.

The fact that the investigative committee never interviewed Willock was wrong enough, but it was illegal because it violated General Orders where any committee investigating a public officer must be made up of public officers. The Committee at the time had two non-public servants.

The court ruled in 2011 that the PSC cannot use the report because it is 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 virus 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.”

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

Justice Rita Joseph-Olivetti said the Governor had no power to appoint the Committee and its proceeds and its report are invalid.

Minister for Communications and Works Hon. Mark Vanterpool has already called for his acting Permanent Secretary Arlene Smith-Thompson to be confirmed.

When contacted, Mr. Willock seemed very up-set over this news site pursuing this article and said he has no comments and as a civil servant he is not allowed to talk to the press. He referred all questions to two law firms: Farara & Kerins and Thornton Smith.

Mr. Willock, a fourth generation indigenous Virgin Islander, holds a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Economics and Political Science. He also holds a certificate in Public Administration from the University of the West Indies and has one year of graduate law school.

53 Responses to “PSC unanimous-Reinstate Permanent Secretary Julian Willock”

  • move (18/06/2012, 08:11) Like (2) Dislike (46) Reply
    • car jack (18/06/2012, 11:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • tell the truth (18/06/2012, 23:42) Like (2) Dislike (32) Reply
      the bigger picture here is a message to the Governor and DG; you cannot just trample on people as you like...we have a modern Constitution and UN charters that speak to rights and obligations of the state to be fair and just to its citizens
  • Sick (18/06/2012, 09:08) Like (2) Dislike (39) Reply
    Are they going to pursue the Minister for Communications and Works who had a Guyanese working at Onemart for 10 years without a work permit? I'm sure that the Beacon will not publish this, because they are all NDP's.
    • wait a min (18/06/2012, 10:54) Like (1) Dislike (30) Reply
      lawd ah mussy look way ayo gone deman....remeber in the bvi there is two legal for the little people and the other for the big people
  • Slavery (18/06/2012, 09:24) Like (1) Dislike (23) Reply
    Is this the Virgin Islands or P. W. Botha's South Africa? How do you have a white Governor (actually 2 white Governors) beginning with Peary, and aided by a vicious Deputy Governor actually decides to destroy a young black Virgin Islanders and there seems to be no outrage in the community?
    • hmmmmmm (18/06/2012, 20:11) Like (1) Dislike (15) Reply
      Oh yea and the Deputy Governor is a naturalized US Citizen. Isn't this contrary to the law?
    • zip it (18/06/2012, 23:21) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
      There is racism everywhere in the bvi. I see it every day, in many ways.
    • Q-Tips (19/06/2012, 05:25) Like (1) Dislike (23) Reply
      The world is a circle and Mr. Willock not to worry there time will come….or thier children
  • Saic (18/06/2012, 09:46) Like (0) Dislike (13) Reply
    Mr. Willock, FIGHT ON! I know you're not the kind of person to back down. You're up against some people who think they're more powerful than GOD, but let's see how this one plays out. They're a set of people who like people kissing their A$$ and only embrace people that they can manipulate, but my advice to you is to FIGHT ON. Yes indeed, you're a 4th generation BVIslander!
  • bob marley (18/06/2012, 09:47) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    'who jah bless, no man curse"
    • aswad (18/06/2012, 09:48) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      ''the more you look is the less you see"
      • in the news (19/06/2012, 05:37) Like (0) Dislike (18) Reply
        While we often praise the BVI as a democracy, in the civil service the level I've found of fair play and going to the governor or DG for fairness and support when your bosses or supervisors have wrong you is usually a myth. To be very direct about it, many "bosses" at all levels in the service abuse their authority by substituting their personal opinions on how they feel about people and hear say.
  • ooooo (18/06/2012, 09:51) Like (2) Dislike (19) Reply
    look like those local mob guys out to get you...sleep with your eyes open...everybody knows who they are
    • tisk (18/06/2012, 15:58) Like (1) Dislike (17) Reply
      The thing about it is that this is not an isolated case against a Virgin Islander. It is becoming a norm to hand pick indigenous Virgin Islanders for this type of treatment. The difference is Willock has been standing up for his rights and taken it to higher levels. Although his rights prevail, it seems that they will stop at nothing until they got their desire. What a pity.
    • CNN (19/06/2012, 05:40) Like (2) Dislike (34) Reply
      TO: OOOOOOO; Mob you say??????, boss man these forces line up against Mr. Julian is worse than the US navy seal that killed Ben-landin!!!
  • Jag (18/06/2012, 09:58) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    Wow this is an amazing read Vino. You got some good info on this site. I hope everything works out.
  • BREAKING NEWS (18/06/2012, 10:19) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    What you buy, you wear!
    • CJ (23/06/2012, 18:24) Like (0) Dislike (7) Reply
      Yeap the wicked people trying to frame Julian but that dog was not flying so he aint wearing lol
  • jack be still (18/06/2012, 10:22) Like (0) Dislike (10) Reply
    Willock congratulations...justice is long but it will come. The evil formed against you can never stand...Trust in god for he will see you through.
    • take it to the top (18/06/2012, 23:45) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      If i was Julian I would write the FCO and make a formal complain on the governor!! how can he bring charges against you then they still have to go back to him with a PSC this backwards or what????
  • john public (18/06/2012, 10:38) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    we want willock, we want willock, we want willock, we want willock
  • on the ball (18/06/2012, 11:03) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    The DPP leaving you think she cares if she messes up a local progressive man character with fooliness and frayberlious prosecution?? Let she keep kissing up they still going get rid of her
    • example (18/06/2012, 14:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Criminal charges?? these people got to be sick...this is another example of mal-administration
    • MERSSY (19/06/2012, 20:41) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
      For your information, no one is getting rid of the learned DPP; her contract is up. She stated from the inception she was in the Territory on a two-year contract. Allyo too nuff with allyo self. She has pride and dignity and will not stoop to the politrics.
  • Willock (18/06/2012, 11:04) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
    I don't know the ins and outs of this case- but as a man who must work- I don't like the idea of taking bread out of any man's mouth- but when you get reinstated stop being so political- that is why you are in trouble today-
    • Bias (18/06/2012, 12:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Nonsense. Who is more political than Gaskin? Last time I checked he ain't from here, but Willock is.
  • black magic (18/06/2012, 12:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    What starts off wrong always ends wrong what about the fs and ps who should have been send on leave for violations? Opps I forget they are the dg sons
  • man down (18/06/2012, 13:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I for one do not believe the governor is a racist. The writers at the tabloid might be but not the governor. I have met him three times two on the road/and at functions we spoke and one at nanny cay. He seems to be a nice person with the interest of the bvi at hand. But if mr. willock does not go back then the governor credibility and that of his office will be undermined.
  • morgan heritage (18/06/2012, 14:05) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    "life is so unfair"
  • end game (18/06/2012, 15:03) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well I was so sick of hearing about this so happy that is now over. I doubt they can bring any further charges as it will look bad without the proper evidence and the legal system must have evidence to prosecute....Julian do your best and give it all to Jesus
  • Justice (18/06/2012, 20:33) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    The only justice for Mr Willock is to bring a multi million dollar law suit against the Governmnt. His character has bee irreparably damaged, for malicious reasons, and Government should pay.
  • HELLO!! (18/06/2012, 21:52) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply
    What all the blah blah bout? Most of you know how Willock is but becuse you all are NDP haters you come on here with your muck talk...back where? I can bet my last dollar he will not get back his position as PS for that Ministry or PS for any Ministry. PSC can rule all they want to rule...I do not like his attitude..feels he is above the law.
  • talk girl talk (18/06/2012, 23:32) Like (1) Dislike (13) Reply
    see how they went after this good man and the other PS who did crap and the FS got off scot free just because dem have a mother in the system...injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere deman
  • help we (18/06/2012, 23:38) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
    another case of Unfair labour Practice against a local son of the soil
  • insider (19/06/2012, 00:03) Like (1) Dislike (14) Reply
    Mark could certainly use Willock's talent and ability to get things done right now before the four years runs out!!!
  • school bell (19/06/2012, 05:18) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    School children say Vanterpoll aint wah he back..
  • jtv (19/06/2012, 08:05) Like (2) Dislike (17) Reply
    The witch hunt against this noble and up right man Julian Willock makes all residents go hmmmmmmmmm...for if they do this to him a Permanent Secretary then what about me a senior administrative officer?
  • Public Servants (19/06/2012, 08:27) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    Willock is a warning to all public officers- stay away from playing politics- at least look neutral
    • Crooked (19/06/2012, 10:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why don't you tell that to Gascan in the Ministry of Finance who thinks he is Mr NDP?
    • heyy (19/06/2012, 11:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      look at what the BVI civil service come to - civil servants are being forced to become political and it is wrong. If people don't outwardly show that they are lined up on a particular side, then God see for them.
    • former worker (19/06/2012, 12:19) Like (2) Dislike (23) Reply
      TO PUBLIC SERVANT: Mr. Willock has been very professional I work with him for years!!!!. When compared to many in the service this is a weak argument to victimize a local person for no reason.
  • LLL (19/06/2012, 13:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well if I was Willock, I would not have wanted back that job. They would have to pay me out and I would take that money and invest it so I don't have to work a next day in my life. Of course, that's if Willock is not guilty.
    • fomer ps (19/06/2012, 16:15) Like (2) Dislike (14) Reply
      The public knew months ago that willock was clean like a baby for he had done nothing wrong. It was just bad mindedness and jealousy kept him out of his work but god does not sleep! Thank god they had new and objective persons on the psc!!!!
    • lets get um (20/06/2012, 23:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      "LLL" both the court and the PSC done say the bouy not guilty only dey discredited report wid dem big agenda waz sayin he guilty but dey court say tis invalid so dem agenda got stop in tis track ha ha he he
  • insider (19/06/2012, 19:10) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
    It’s a shame in my opinion that people would believe that a governor, police and a DPP may participate in such a conspiracy against a fellow civil servant. I for one believe in the integrity of the system, and all who could be involved in such cannot happen... but then again when they out to get one, you never know what means they might go to!!
  • paul (20/06/2012, 08:56) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Free willie
  • tortola big dog (20/06/2012, 18:46) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Race and egos at play here...willock is a no nonsense man so that’s why they after he

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