Government appeals postal services ruling Richardson: “Personal battle at the taxpayer’s expense”

POSTED: 06/27/14 2:05 AM

St. Maarten – The fight over the situation with the former director of the postal services PSS Denicio Richardson is not over yet, because the government has appealed the June 3 court ruling that ordered it to pay Richardson close to a quarter of a million dollars.

“The Court in First Instance established that both the shareholder representative and members of the supervisory board violated the bylaws of the company with an illegal suspension. They miserably failed to follow the rules in a way that could have avoided all this,” Richardson stated in a press release he issued yesterday afternoon. “The opposing party’s defense could not support any of their arguments.”

Richardson notes that shareholder representative Sarah Wescot-Williams, “apparently still believes differently and cannot accept or agree with the ruling of the judge.”

The continued action Richardson states, “creates the semblance of a personal battle at the expense of the taxpayers. The free hand to use our taxpayers’ guilders freely to fight legal battles against its own young professionals is just simply amazing.”

The former director says that the court battle has been going on for already one-and-a-half year. “Fighting another round will only add to the total of the existing hefty bill while there are no guarantees that the appeal judges will rule in favor of the government. Certain things will not change and the ruling could go against the government and cost the country and PSS even more.”

Richardson furthermore hints at a darker motive for the continued court battle. “This could be a move by the shareholder representative and the supervisory board to simply run from their failures to act and solve. An appeal case can take years before a ruling is handed down and this is very expensive.”

Richardson points out that based on the articles of incorporation of PSS, members of the supervisory board “can be held personally liable for questionable actions. (….) They violated the bylaws of the company as was pointed out in the ruling. The suspension was illegal and they should be held liable for it.” Richardson said that initially he thought the dispute could be resolved out of court. “I was proven wrong and forced to take this matter to court.”

“Government focus should always be on creating opportunities and jobs, acting as a good corporate citizen, setting the example, and taking the lead making life easier, instead of fighting and limiting its own young educated professionals that came back to build a future and help their country,” Richardson furthermore states in his press release. “We should be embraced. If government fails to act as a good corporate citizen, how can we then demand the same from the private sector? Are we sending the wrong signal or message?”

Richardson concludes his statement by pointing out “that disputes should not be about who is right but about what is right.” He wishes the government to reconsider its decision to appeal and instead respect the court ruling. “The shareholder representative and the supervisory board of PSS failed in the past and now have the opportunity to do what is right for the interest of all, bringing this four-year matter to a proper and final closure.”

 

 

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