A senior police officer from Tobago, who last month began a lawsuit against Police Commissioner Gary Griffith over his handling of promotions to the rank of Superintendent, was among 48 officers who were promoted by Griffith on Friday.
Last month, High Court Judge Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell granted acting Senior Supt Collis Hazel, of Roxborough, Tobago, leave to pursue his judicial review case against Griffith.
In the lawsuit, Hazel, who joined the T&T Police Service (TTPS) in 1991, claimed that after passing the promotion examination and interview with the Promotion Advisory Board, he was placed at number 46 on a merit list.
On September 4, 2018, the first 45 officers were promoted.
Hazel claimed that although the TTPS agreed to extend the life of the merit list to September 3, 2020, the decision was subsequently revoked.
In the lawsuit, Hazel, who has been given a series of acting appointments, claimed that Griffith’s decision was unreasonable as it was done without any warning or consultation.
Hazel was seeking a declaration that the decision was unreasonable and an order compelling Griffith to give reasons for it.
In a letter sent to Hazel’s lawyers after the case was filed, TTPS Director of Legal Services Christian Chandler claimed that the extension of the merit list by the TTPS Human Resource Branch was an administrative error.
While the TTPS initial stood by the decision to correct the error, Hazel and some of his colleagues, who were waiting on the decision in his case to challenge their promotions, were promoted on Friday.
A decision on how and if the lawsuit should proceed will be determined at the next hearing.
Hazel is being represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC, Alvin Pariagsingh, and Alana Rambaran.