Controversy still hovers over half a decade after Security Officer Vescott Jones of Marigot was reportedly fired for permitting Leader of the United Workers Party, Lenox Linton, who was leaving Dominica, to eliminate a amount of cooked crab backs on the Douglas Charles Airport since he didn’t have the required allow to journey with them.
The incident occurred on October 19, 2014 however blew up within the native media in December that 12 months when Linton revealed that the security officer was fired because of the episode.
The UWP chief had labelled the matter for instance of political victimization in opposition to Marigot individuals however Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Benoit Bardouille, had stated that Jones failed to comply with the usual procedures which security officers function underneath, therefore his employment was terminated.
As it stands, an industrial tribunal listening to is still ongoing through which Jones, by means of his lawyer, Gildon Richards, is interesting Bardouille’s choice, claiming unfair dismissal.
According to Richards, who spoke to Dominica News Online (DNO), to date, all witnesses besides Bardouille have testified however the case has been at a standstill for the reason that tribunal was reconstituted as a result of its time period expired and a secretary has not been appointment.
“We’ve repeatedly requested information with respect to the status of the tribunal [as to] whether the chairman was going to be reappointed. We were eventually told that the chairman had been reappointed and everything is getting settled,” Richards stated. (*6*)
He additional acknowledged, “In all of the public service, we are being told [that] nobody can be found to record… the testimony of Mr. Bardouille to the tribunal.”
Richards stated that after Bardouille’s testimony, the subsequent step can be to await a call.
“So Mr. Bardouille is the only person right now, who must make himself available to the tribunal and the minister is the person that must move the tribunal to perform its functions according to law by appointing a secretary to the tribunal,” he stated.
“I don’t believe the public service would fall on its face if for three hours, a secretary was appointed to complete the witness testimony at least for Mr. Bardouille and for another few days to transcribe that testimony or any testimony for the tribunal to proceed into doing its work. Just think of the public service, the largest employer in Dominica of clerical services and you’re getting an explanation, ‘we cannot find a secretary’,” Richards added.
He was adamant that his consumer didn’t breech the regulation and claims that Jones was vindictively dismissed. He stated in accordance to regulation, the fundamental operate of airport security is to be sure that they forestall harmful supplies from getting unto aircrafts.
“The statute does not impose upon them a duty to seize things that do not come within the purview of what they have been put there to do,” Richards famous. “First of all, there is no ban on the exportation of food.”
Meanwhile, when contacted by DNO for remark, Minister Blackmoore stated he was unable to communicate on issues relating to the tribunal for the reason that listening to is still ongoing.
The Forestry Wildlife and Parks Division had launched a press release some days after the incident through which it distanced itself from having any involvement within the scenario because it developed on October 19, 2014.
The assertion stated that officers of the Division heard the information like each different particular person after it was carried within the native media on Monday October 20, 2014 and the following days.
“The allegation that the Division turned a blind eye on the instant matter is rather unfortunate,” the division acknowledged, noting that it was involved that “if the situation actually developed as is reported in the local media and talk-shows, then the existing protocol for dealing with such matters was not followed.”
In its assertion, the Forestry and Wildlife Division reminded the general public that the “exportation or attempt to export wildlife from the country without a valid export permit is a violation of the Forestry and Wildlife Act, Chapter 60:02 of the Revised Laws of Dominica.” They additionally famous that to declare ignorance of the regulation, which has been in pressure since 1976, is not any protection.
Speaking to media just lately, Jones described his life after the dismissal as arduous and painful.
His lawyer additionally revealed that Jones has not had any fulltime employment in six years and has been making a residing out of meagre means. His mom, an amputee whose well being deteriorated due to the incident, is completely depending on Jones for sustenance, Richards stated.
“She has lost some of her health because of that, constantly grieving about the situation,” the lawyer added.