“It is very upsetting to see (that) this is the lengths that these …individuals would go to defame someone’s character…”.
Those were the words of Earl Maitland in response to a letter published on page 7 of the August 3, 2018 edition of THE NEW TODAY in which Ronnie Marryshow of the Office of the Ombudsman, described as “untrue and misleading,” information which Maitland provided in an article which was published in the July 6, 2018 edition of the newspaper headlined, “Earl Maitland still seeking redress on outstanding labour issue.”
In a blistering attack on Marryshow, Maitland called on him to correct the inaccuracies in the correspondence.
“What I would like is for this article to be corrected…as soon as possible… (In) the article, Mr. Marryshow is actually trying to defame my character, eliminate my integrity and the information that he passed on is actually untrue”, he said.
Marryshow claimed that Maitland was informed in a letter dated January 31, 2018 that his case was closed, along with the reason for the Ombudsman so doing, in keeping with Section 24, sub-sections 3 & 4 of the Act.
Maitland approached the Ombudsman to intervene in a 3-year-old dispute surrounding his dismissal as an employee of Aviation Services of Grenada Ltd. (ASG).
He is alleging that ASG has failed to honour a recommendation from the Ministry of Labour to pay him a sum of monies, estimated to be approximately EC$40, 000 owed to him.
Maitland has challenged Marryshow’s claim, contending that his case was closed without him being informed of the reasons in accordance with the Ombudsman Act, which states in “Section 24, that when you are going to close a case you have to inform the complainant and give reasons why you are closing it”.
“For almost 2 years, Mr. Marryshow was doing nothing in the Office of the Ombudsman, just sitting there wasting time, telling me the only thing he could do is just write a letter, that his hands are tied and he has no real authority to discipline anybody…contrary to what they actually tell the public that they (are mandated to) do”, said the former ASG employee.
According to Maitland, it was while waiting on someone whom he had brought to the Ombudsman Office to file an unrelated report of police brutality sometime ago, he “decided to check on the status of my claim (and) the investigations officer went in the system and pulled up my information and told me that the case was closed”.
“I asked him to verify my information and he went to the file cabinet and pulled out my file and there was actually a closed sticker or stamp on it”, he said.
“I had to go and explain to Mr. Marryshow and the Ombudsman Ms. (Alison) Miller, how incompetent they were and they were actually breaking the law of the country according to the Ombudsman Act…”, he added.
Maitland went on: “I believe up until that point, they were so incompetent that they weren’t even aware that Section 24 of the Ombudsman Act says that when you are going to close a case you have to inform the complainant and give reasons why you are closing it”.
The former ASG worker alleged that “after an unnecessary battle to have them do their jobs, they decided to reopen the case the same day but after many failed attempts thereafter to contact Mr. Marryshow and Ombudsman Miller, he went into the office in early February this year to see what was going on”.
“When I went inside there, I was told that they had sent a letter to me…I bought a copy of the letter, which stated that they decided to close the file (however), they did not even address the complaints.
There was no mention of the Labour Commissioner or the (then) Minister of Labour failing to do their duties and this is what the whole substance of the complaint was about,” he explained.“Now they are saying that it was duly investigated by the office of the Ombudsman and all kinds of nonsense (and) I am left stranded as a taxpayer, seeking justice.”
Maitland has also sought to bring his matter with ASG to the attention of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.