The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is demanding that Prime Minister Mia Mottley fire Attorney General Dale Marshall for appointing a second Deputy Commissioner of Police when it is not permitted by law.
Today, the DLP released an official statement insisting that Marshall must go over his handling of the matter.
“It must be noted that his admission came only after consistent public pressure which followed his dismissive response to those who questioned the appointment,” said the DLP.
“This must not be tolerated in a public servant. The Attorney General must go,” the party demanded.
“What is left when the legal adviser to the Government openly and defiantly admits to breaching the law. What worse example could possibly be set. What more reason do you need, Prime Minister, to fire the Attorney General?” the DLP asked.
Yesterday, Marshall admitted in an official media statement that Oral Williams had been confirmed in the position by the Protective Services Commission in contravention of the Police Act which only provides for a single deputy. Williams has joined Erwin Boyce who holds the role of Deputy Commissioner to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith.
Last week when reporters asked the AG to address comments by Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn that the decision to appoint a second deputy was ultra vires and that any such post would first require an amendment to the Act, Marshall said he did not want to engage in any “tit-for-tat” with Franklyn.
But in his statement yesterday, the Attorney General conceded that the law provides for only one deputy commissioner of police.
“We take note that the Police Act only speaks to a single Deputy Commissioner of Police and it is therefore to be regretted that the required amendment did not take place in advance of this confirmation,” the Government’s principal legal advisor declared.
He then assured the country that “once the strictures of COVID-19 allow for the space to resume sittings of Parliament, the necessary amendment will be made to the Police Act to give full effect to this decision.”
However, the DLP, which was ousted from Government in a 30-nil drubbing at the polls in May 2018, insisted that the AG’s “arrogance” is on full display.
The party said it has spent the last two years highlighting the “creeping totalitarianism” where the present Government behaves as if it is above reproach and now finally above the law.
“The ‘justification’ of the Attorney General for appointing Oral Williams to a non-existent post is nothing less than a demonstration of arrogance and an absolute power trip,” added the party.
“Barbados needs to know that the rule of law applies to every citizen and that the authority of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) is not made a laughing-stock. Given the crime wave which has befallen this country under this Attorney General, it is more of an imperative that the image of the uniformed services be kept intact,” the DLP suggested.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Protective Services Commission Branford Goddard is sticking to his guns of not commenting on the controversy at this stage.
“I am not prepared to make any statement with regard to the issue. I told you earlier this week that the commission is not prepared to make any comments at this stage and that an appropriate comment will be made at an appropriate time,” Goddard reiterated to Barbados TODAY when contacted again this afternoon.
Oral Williams himself has already said he is not “bothered” by all the furor.
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.