Categorized | Letters, Local, News

Governor Davis to confirm Inspectors Derona Semper and Albert Williams after ‘reverting’ them to Sergeants

Derona Semper and Albert Williams

Albert Williams

In the end of what appeared quietly to Attorney David Brandt untoward and undue delay, and which might well be a next beginning, His Excellency Governor  Adrian Davis, wrote to Mr. Brandt. “Thank you for your various letters and emails on behalf of your clients. I have reviewed again all the correspondence. In addition as I indicated I have also had the benefit of discussion with, and advice from, Cabinet colleagues.

“As a result of this process, both officers will be confirmed as Inspectors. They will be advised of the effective dates in the usual manner,” the Governor advised.

Since our last report, Mr. Brandt had on two separate occasions wrote to the Governor, accusing him of  impropriety, since his deadline letter, to which the Governor had responded by email on 27 February, that he had in fact come to a decision but  was consulting cabinet “in line with Section 39(7)” of the Montserrat Constitution. He also said he had received legal advice from the AG’s Chambers, and advice on policing from FCO’s police adviser.

In the first instance, Mr. Brandt reacted to a letter to Semper and Williams from the Commissioner of Police (Ag.) dated February 28, 2014. On March 4 Brandt wrote the Governor, “…it appears that you have come to a final decision to demote my clients to the rank of Sergeants and communicated the same to a Bradley Siddell Commissioner (Ag) before you will meet with Cabinet on the 6th of March 2014.

“I say this because by letter dated February 28 2014 one day after you wrote to me Mr. Siddell gave my clients the enclosed memo, which in effect commanded my clients to immediately report to Ms. Allen Business Manager , to have items of uniform made for you by the Seamstress or issued by the Storekeeper when available.

It follows naturally that meeting with Cabinet will be a mere formality because it appears you have already informed Mr. Siddle to take the steps he took. It is inconceivable that Mr. Siddell could have written the letters to my clients without your express authority.”

Derona Semper

Derona Semper

The Governor responded the next day: “…It is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the current situation. On 27 January I wrote to both officers Williams and Semper informing them they would revert to Sergeant with immediate effect. That decision is still in force, and DCOP Siddell was simply taking appropriate action in the light of it.”

The Governor went on to note, his discussion “with Cabinet tomorrow is whether, in the light of the various communications I have received from you, and other advice I have received, I should change my original decision.”

This response evoked the hint from Mr. Brandt that a new chapter was about to begin in the matter. He wrote the Governor the following which is presented here in its entirety because of what it represents.

Dear Your Excellency,

It is always a joy to have a dialogue with you on matters of this nature.

In your email to me dated February 27 2014 you indicated that you are carefully considering legal advice you have received from the AG’s Office and advice on policing from the FCO’s Independent Police Advisor and that you have come to a decision but in line with Section 39(7) of the Constitution you need to confer with your colleagues in Cabinet before you can confirm that decision.

If as stated in your email to me dated 5 March 2014 that you had already taken a decision and Mr. Siddle was merely acting upon it why did  you not  place your decision in abeyance. If that is truly the case why did you write to me and say ” My discussion with Cabinet  tomorrow is whether in light of the various communications I have received from you, and other advice I have received, I should change my original decision.”

When you came to the decision that you may change your mind why did you not tell Mr. Siddle to hold off until after you meet with Cabinet?

Section 39(7) clearly states that before exercising any function with respect to the Police you shall consult the Cabinet…

You have created the following documents and caused them to be acted upon namely

(1) Performance and Development Review Guidelines

(2) Integrity Form

(3) Polygraph Testing

(4) Integrity Notice without consulting Cabinet. I say that because by your email dated February 27 2014 , it is clear that it is after you have taken the steps we are complaining about you will consult Cabinet. It is too late it should have been done before.

It is my submission that you cannot rely upon (a) (b) and (c) of Section 39(7) of the Constitution because you state  in your email to me on the March 5 2014  it is only now that you will bring this matter to Cabinet for the first time  which means that you acted  and did not consider that Cabinet should not be consulted on the matter.

Having created and acted on the documents mentioned here-in and demoted my clients and not consulted Cabinet you are in breach of procedural impropriety because when Parliament and  in this case the constitution sets out a procedure to be  followed  you are bound to follow that procedure even though in the end you did not take Cabinets advice.

In the premises you cannot retrospectively legalise your illegal act. I will quote Bob Marley “what gone bad in the morning cannot come good at night”.

Please be guided accordingly.

Yours very truly,

David S. Brandt

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Derona Semper and Albert Williams

Albert Williams

In the end of what appeared quietly to Attorney David Brandt untoward and undue delay, and which might well be a next beginning, His Excellency Governor  Adrian Davis, wrote to Mr. Brandt. “Thank you for your various letters and emails on behalf of your clients. I have reviewed again all the correspondence. In addition as I indicated I have also had the benefit of discussion with, and advice from, Cabinet colleagues.

“As a result of this process, both officers will be confirmed as Inspectors. They will be advised of the effective dates in the usual manner,” the Governor advised.

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Since our last report, Mr. Brandt had on two separate occasions wrote to the Governor, accusing him of  impropriety, since his deadline letter, to which the Governor had responded by email on 27 February, that he had in fact come to a decision but  was consulting cabinet “in line with Section 39(7)” of the Montserrat Constitution. He also said he had received legal advice from the AG’s Chambers, and advice on policing from FCO’s police adviser.

In the first instance, Mr. Brandt reacted to a letter to Semper and Williams from the Commissioner of Police (Ag.) dated February 28, 2014. On March 4 Brandt wrote the Governor, “…it appears that you have come to a final decision to demote my clients to the rank of Sergeants and communicated the same to a Bradley Siddell Commissioner (Ag) before you will meet with Cabinet on the 6th of March 2014.

“I say this because by letter dated February 28 2014 one day after you wrote to me Mr. Siddell gave my clients the enclosed memo, which in effect commanded my clients to immediately report to Ms. Allen Business Manager , to have items of uniform made for you by the Seamstress or issued by the Storekeeper when available.

It follows naturally that meeting with Cabinet will be a mere formality because it appears you have already informed Mr. Siddle to take the steps he took. It is inconceivable that Mr. Siddell could have written the letters to my clients without your express authority.”

Derona Semper

Derona Semper

The Governor responded the next day: “…It is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the current situation. On 27 January I wrote to both officers Williams and Semper informing them they would revert to Sergeant with immediate effect. That decision is still in force, and DCOP Siddell was simply taking appropriate action in the light of it.”

The Governor went on to note, his discussion “with Cabinet tomorrow is whether, in the light of the various communications I have received from you, and other advice I have received, I should change my original decision.”

This response evoked the hint from Mr. Brandt that a new chapter was about to begin in the matter. He wrote the Governor the following which is presented here in its entirety because of what it represents.

Dear Your Excellency,

It is always a joy to have a dialogue with you on matters of this nature.

In your email to me dated February 27 2014 you indicated that you are carefully considering legal advice you have received from the AG’s Office and advice on policing from the FCO’s Independent Police Advisor and that you have come to a decision but in line with Section 39(7) of the Constitution you need to confer with your colleagues in Cabinet before you can confirm that decision.

If as stated in your email to me dated 5 March 2014 that you had already taken a decision and Mr. Siddle was merely acting upon it why did  you not  place your decision in abeyance. If that is truly the case why did you write to me and say ” My discussion with Cabinet  tomorrow is whether in light of the various communications I have received from you, and other advice I have received, I should change my original decision.”

When you came to the decision that you may change your mind why did you not tell Mr. Siddle to hold off until after you meet with Cabinet?

Section 39(7) clearly states that before exercising any function with respect to the Police you shall consult the Cabinet…

You have created the following documents and caused them to be acted upon namely

(1) Performance and Development Review Guidelines

(2) Integrity Form

(3) Polygraph Testing

(4) Integrity Notice without consulting Cabinet. I say that because by your email dated February 27 2014 , it is clear that it is after you have taken the steps we are complaining about you will consult Cabinet. It is too late it should have been done before.

It is my submission that you cannot rely upon (a) (b) and (c) of Section 39(7) of the Constitution because you state  in your email to me on the March 5 2014  it is only now that you will bring this matter to Cabinet for the first time  which means that you acted  and did not consider that Cabinet should not be consulted on the matter.

Having created and acted on the documents mentioned here-in and demoted my clients and not consulted Cabinet you are in breach of procedural impropriety because when Parliament and  in this case the constitution sets out a procedure to be  followed  you are bound to follow that procedure even though in the end you did not take Cabinets advice.

In the premises you cannot retrospectively legalise your illegal act. I will quote Bob Marley “what gone bad in the morning cannot come good at night”.

Please be guided accordingly.

Yours very truly,

David S. Brandt