By DARCEL CHOY Thursday, August 2 2012
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Deputy Commissioner Jack Ewatski...
COMMISSIONER of Police Dwayne Gibbs and Deputy Commissioner Jack Ewatski will both leave this country with close to $2.5 million in ex gratia payments.
Acting Attorney General Ganga Singh revealed this in a statement yesterday. Gibbs and Ewatski, both Canadians, had three-year contracts with the State yet both resigned by way of letters dated last Friday (July 27).
Singh’s statement said that upon Gibbs and Ewatski’s resignation the payment of ex gratia sums in the amount of $1,277,420 and $1,210,307 respectively, were recommended to, and approved by both the National Security Council and Cabinet both of which are chaired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
This recommendation was made after consideration of all relevant facts and in keeping with applicable “industrial relations practice, and the highest standards of governance.”
It noted that Gibbs and Ewatski’s premature departure left an unexpired term of 14 months under their contract of employment, with a before tax value of $1,684,557.33 and $1,590,073.33 respectively. The ex gratia payments are intended to assist both gentlemen in their, “resettling efforts.”
The Acting AG said both men performed their duties courageously despite a tense and highly challenging environment.
David Abdulah, political leader of former member of the People’s Partnership coalition government, the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) in a statement yesterday said both Gibbs and Ewatski were “politically harassed” and given virtually no other alternative but to resign.
He said their removal will not bring the crime situation under control because they were not the cause of violent crime in this country.
Abdulah noted that the constitutional protection of the heads of the Police Service was there to buffer against the security forces of the country being used by the Government against political opponents.
“When the heads of the Police Service can be harassed and virtually hounded out of office, then the constitutional protection becomes worthless and therefore we are vulnerable to the development of a police state,” Abdulah said in his release.
Stephen Williams will now hold the post of Acting Police Commissioner which marks the second time in four years that the country will have a top cop whose appointment is not on a permanent basis. He follows in the footsteps of former acting Police Commissioner James Philbert.
Williams will serve a six-month term, beginning on August 7. He is due to take up office on that date and will serve until January 31, 2013.