Duncan gave incorrect information about ruling – Police officer defeats justice minister in court

POSTED: 02/25/13 12:13 PM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Roland Duncan suffered another defeat in court in the dispute over his refusal to appoint police officer Carlyle Rogers as head of the district team Simpson Bay. The minister dismissed Rogers a couple of months ago as acting head of this team and replaced him with another officer. Rogers appealed the decision in the court for civil servants affairs. On Monday, this court ruled that that the appeal is founded and it ordered the minister to take a new decision within three months on the objection Rogers filed against his removal from the function.

Rogers’ attorney Cindy Marica stated to this newspaper that the minister refuses to appoint Rogers by national decree, “in spite of the fact that Rogers went through a thorough selections and application procedure, that he meets all requirements for the function and that he was selected as the best candidate.”

It is no coincidence that the minister removed Rogers from the function, the attorney noted: “we suspect that he simply has not been appointed because he is the president of the NAPB the police union – ed.), but that is discrimination and not a valid reason.”

mr. Marica stated that Minister Duncan provided incorrect information by pretending that the court declared Rogers’ appeal against his decision unfounded. This information appeared on a local gossip website. mr. Marica provided this newspaper with a copy of the court decision: “The decrees of the minister have been voided and he has to take a motivated new decision within three months.”

The attorney added that officer Rudolf Bloeiman was nominated by the selection committee as head of the district team for Philipsburg town. “The minister also refuses to appoint him and he has also been removed from that function in March of last year. As far as I know Bloeiman has not undertaken any action.”

The court rejected the minister’s defense against the appeal that there is no decree because the letter in which he announced that Rogers would not be appointed as the head of the district team in Simpson Bay is not addressed to Rogers. “That is incorrect,” Judge René van Veen wrote in his ruling. “A civil servant has the option to appeal any decree that directly affects his interests in the court for civil servants affairs.”

The Justice Minister also argued that the decree is not a legal action but a factual action –being “factually being unable to nominate someone for a function that does not exist.”

The court rejected this argument because the decision had legal consequences in the sense that Rogers was not nominated for the function to the governor. “Refusal to nominate someone is in principle not a definitive decision, but this is different when it concerns a ministerial nomination to the governor,” the court ruled, adding that it will order the minister to take a new decision. “The current decree lacks a thorough motivation.”

The court added – for the benefit of Rogers – that he should not take for granted that the minister refused without reason to nominate him for the function. “If the minister properly motivated decides that he never opened the vacancy for the contested function, or that this was done by someone who was not authorized to do so, or that is was done by someone who had the authority but that there are good reasons not to follow the nomination, a possible new appeal will be declared unfounded.”

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