A senior prison officer is making a bid for his boss, Superintendent of Prisons Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse, to be held in contempt of a court order to have him promoted and paid damages.
Trevor Browne has already instructed his lawyers to apply for the contempt order in the High Court.
The move by Browne, who is also president of the Barbados Prison Officers Association (BPOA) stems from an earlier successful lawsuit against the prison boss as the first defendant and the Attorney General as the second, in which Browne claims he was superseded by junior colleagues.
On September 4, Justice William Chandler ordered the Superintendent to have the claimant appointed to act in the post of Orderly officer and that damages be paid to him.
In a letter dated October 25 and addressed to attorney Gregory Nicholls, Browne drew his attention to an even earlier court appearance before Justice Dr Sonia Richards last December 2017, when he recalled her ruling that the parties involved in the matter before her should return to the status quo prior to the start of the case, until a final settlement is reached.
Browne contended in correspondence that despite the ruling, members of the executive of the Prison Officers’ Association were not allowed unhindered access to their office.
The prison officer therefore instructed Nicholls to “urgently file all relevant documents to this court, the Chief Justice or the Duty Judge, indicating that the Superintendent of Prison stands in contempt of court as it regards this said order”.
Since then, Browne, in a letter dated October 30, has issued similar instructions to lawyers David and Sally Comissiong based on the September 4 ruling of Justice Chandler. The disgruntled prison officer contends he has not yet benefitted from the order.
The judge had ruled that the claimant was entitled to be paid the salary of an Orderly officer during the period he worked as such; that he was wrongfully passed over for promotion by not being appointed to act in available posts of Orderly officer between April 4, 2009 and September 30, 2015 and that he merits being appointed to the post whenever it next became available.
“It is further ordered that the claimant shall be paid as damages, the difference between the salary of an Orderly officer and the lesser salary that he was paid for; all previous periods that he worked in the post of Orderly Offier but was not paid the salary of Orderly officer; and the period that he should have been appointed to act in available Orderly officer posts but was not placed so,” the judge ordered.
Justice Chandler also instructed the prison chief to immediately take “appropriate” action to facilitate the claimant being appointed to act in a post of Orderly officer by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
But when contacted tonight, attorney Sally Comissiong told Barbados TODAY she first had to hold discussions with Browne before taking any action on her client’s behalf.
Superintendent of Prisons Nurse could not be reached for comment.