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Ex-PSC chair tries to muzzle George
Former Police Service Commission chairman Dr Maria Therese Gomes yesterday attempted to muzzle PSC member, attorney Martin George, as he was providing information to the Special Select Committee looking into the recent selection process of a commissioner of police and deputy commisioner.
George was at the time detailing the voting process of the panel as they weighed whether or not one particular candidate ought to be probed.
During yesterday’s proceedings held in Parliament, committee members were asked to refer to a “code” when making mention of certain individuals, as they were debarred from referring to specific names of candidates who applied.
George attempted to clarify the voting process by members when they came to issues related to a partciular candidate, saying there were different issues for consideration.
“The first issue was the question of the 2:2 vote related to the question as to whether a candidate ought to be the subject of further investigation. That was a 2:2 vote...two for, two against...and that’s where the issue of...”
But before George could finish, Gomes intervened saying that particular issue ought to be heard in camera and not be made public.
At this point, committee chair Fitzgerald Hinds intervened, instructing that George should be allowed to finish his contribution.
“What transpired after the 2:2 deadlock was the exercise of a casting vote. Two members raised querries as to appropriateness of the use of the casting vote,” George said.
“Internal legal counsel indicated that the legislation does allow for the use of a casting vote and the casting vote prevailed. Thereafter, the question arose as to the order of merit list and the approval which then would have hinged on the previous issue of whether there ought to be investigation into a certain candidate. At that point, that vote went 3:1 with one member still insisting that since this ought to be investigated, that member could not approve the order of merit list.”
In early February this year, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley mandated that the committee be set up to review appointments for the office of Police Commissioner and Deputy Police Commissioner, following public information which came into the public domain suggesting the process may have been flawed and possibly tainted. The entireselection process cost taxpayers $3.2 million.
The committee, which is chaired by Hinds, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, also comprises La Brea MP Nicole Oliviere, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, Housing Minister Randall Mitchell and Opposition members Roodal Moonilal and Ganga Singh.
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