A two year suspension, for what?

I am not familiar with the story personally, but from what I gathered, reading and asking questions, a high-up-there member of the Fire Brigade leadership was suspended, and sat at home for two years, receiving full pay awaiting the hearing of a criminal case.

At the end of the two years, the judge threw out the main accusation, theft, and settled on property destruction for which the fireman was fined Awg 400.

That story struck me as absurd.

Why was he suspended and replaced by a management team, in the first place?

As far as we hear the Fire Brigade is still unhappy, in spite of leadership change.

And now that a verdict is out the man cannot be fired, he must be reinstated, perhaps relocated, keeping in mind that he will never again be a happy GOA employee.

And it is astounding that the General Prosecutor found the fireman’s actions prosecutable on two counts, theft, and while he was at it, also destruction of property, that usually only brings disciplinary measures.

The story revolved around two laptop computers, which the firemen did, or did not turn in when suspended. According to his testimony one was damaged and the other malfunctioned.

Anyway, they went to court for a criminal case.

Which might give us the impression, and I hope it is false, that this whole maneuver was politically motivated. Why did they want this guy gone. OM cannot be an extension of GOA, and if they decided to prosecute, why didn’t they make sure their investigation is in-depth and meticulous. Fire proof.

I think I remember a similar slap on the wrist from the court in the case of two policemen, and we have two upcoming verdicts of SUPER COSTLY investigations, Diamond and Ostrich. Will the prosecutor be able to prove the allegations? Otherwise a shedload of money was wasted.

One more for the road: I read an allegation, that the Police granted an inebriated minibus driver a reprieve because he was the brother of a KPA chief. The news item was written by Autobus Uni, apparently an umbrella organization of the minibuses. It complained about preferential treatment of the man who was driving his minibus under the influence, picking up passengers after the Carnival in St Nicolas. The news item had full names, bus license plate, and a color portrait. The text reported wide knowledge of his drinking problem — he was a drunk, it stated, he drank hard liquor for long hour, and despite being caught was not arrested, the bus was not impounded, he was not fined, his driving license untouched, he was escorted home safely, address provided.

While Autobus Uni is 100% right in its complaint, it is 100% wrong in how the matter was handled in the public sphere. You cannot write like that about people, violating their privacy, and spilling their blood. You are right to complain to the authorities if you witness dangerous behavior but you cannot provide the public with full details, including your diagnosis of acute alcoholism, you cannot label people like that. And I am amazed the editor of the on-line publication, doesn’t know that.


Share on:

February 25, 2023
Rona Coster