The Public Service Commission (PSC) wrote Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Smith Roberts a letter dated 28 October 2013 telling him that PSC ‘has decided to retire you’; and inviting him to make representations on the matter if he wished.
PSC thereby put the cart before the horse. So says Counsel for ACP Roberts, Dr. Francis Alexis who pointed out that PSC should have first afforded ACP Roberts a hearing on whether he should be retired from the Royal Grenada Police Force before he reaches the compulsory retiring age, 60 years of age.
Only after giving him an opportunity to be heard should PSC have decided the matter, says Alexis.
Dr. Alexis points out that the PSC must bear in mind that the highest Courts insist that a PSC has a constitutional duty to protect public officers from the Executive power of the State.
He indicated that ACP Roberts is the last Grenadian police officer to pass out with flying colours from the very prestigious Bramshill Police College in England.
Dr. Alexis also said that the embattled senior police officer has a quite outstanding professional record in the Force.
As such, the island’s noted constitutional expert is contending that by forcing ACP Roberts into premature retirement in the face of that PSC letter, this would be unjust, unfair and unconstitutional.
Another ACP Dowlin Bartholomew is believed to have received a similar letter like that given to Roberts by the commission.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell has publicly endorsed the actions taken against the two senior police officers.
Speculation is rife that moves are afoot to replace ACP’s Roberts and Bartholomew with officers believed to be closely aligned to Mitchell’s governing New National Party (NNP) which won all 15 seats in the February poll.
Dr. Alexis has in the past successfully defended civil servants against questionable decisions taken against them by the commission.
Two of the more celebrated cases involved former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Brian Francis, now a lecturer in Economics at the University of the West Indies and Richard Duncan, the one time Accountant-General in the Ministry of Finance and currently Manager at Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited.