Opinion: Back to court (Denicio Richardson, ex postal director)

POSTED: 08/20/14 6:27 PM

Having been in courts already three times to defend myself on the matter surrounding my settlement package as the former Director for Postal Services St. Maarten NV (PSS) Office, both Government and PSS are taking me back to courts for a fourth time. To date I have been able to win all the preceding cases, with favorable rulings in the first two cases outright, and with the third case, a silent victory, as it was dropped at the eleventh hour prior to the deadline for submitting pleadings, as both government and PSS realized they could not win and did not have a case to make or defend in the appellate court against my person.

Despite these favorable rulings and victories in courts to date, both government represented by the Shareholder Representative of PSS, Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams, and PSS continue to launch yet another court case against me and I am now been taken to task yet again for a fourth  time to court. The question is when will it all end and how many rounds in court will I have to go thru and pay for, along with the taxpayers before it all ends.

Both government and PSS to this date believe that the ruling of June 3 was incorrect and amongst others that the suspension imposed was still justifiable, even with the facts presented and ruled on, and that a salary of ANG 10,000 is also still a justifiable and reasonable salary for a Statutory Director of a Government owned NV.

Both will be challenging the entire ruling in the appellate courts in the coming weeks and months, and surprisingly this position differs from what the Shareholder Representative publically stated earlier in the media when she was queried on the matter. The apparent indiscriminate possibility for government to spend freely the tax payer money to challenge its very own taxpayers for failures on their part that lead to a matter like this one escalating, is a clear concern and problem. Government should be about creating and embracing, while promoting stability and better quality of life.

This constant going to court continues to place unnecessary strain, stress and burden on me and my family, while it also burdens the tax payers with yet additional legal expenses. As was indicated earlier and I will say again, I do respect that everyone, even government, has the right to make use of all the legal proceedings available, but these should under no circumstances be abused at the expense of the taxpayers.

Government represented by the Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams as Shareholder Representative of PSS, can have this matter on behalf of government withdrawn immediately and end this matter seeing mistakes were made; to date it seems that this is not the intention, at least not yet to stop what should have never been from the start. Mistakes were made and we can still get it right, as what has happened to date, nothing can or will change that. We can all learn a lot from this experience and move on ensuring it never happens again to one of our very own professionals. As a country up and coming we need all hands on deck to build and move St. Maarten ahead and make it what we dream it to be. A few cannot do it alone; we need to move closer as a people.

Leading up to 10-10-10 as a young local professional, I stepped up to the plate when called upon to serve my country in the capacity of developing and leading our very own Postal administration. I put my all into it, despite the many challenges, setbacks and obstacles faced along the way. Working together with the team of PSS staff, we were able to overcome, ensuring mail was flowing and never one month or one day did they have to worry about their salaries/bonus etc. under my leadership. I along with them ensured that St. Maarten was meeting its universal obligation that it is treaty to, and ensure everyone had access to sending and receiving mail. Today, almost four years later I still have to fight government in court case after case, who appointed me to lead and manage one of its own government owned NV’s, to get what was is rightfully due in line with what is paid to others in similar positions for our expertise and services.

So in closing, I say let’s make it right, stop this continued uncalled battles in court that only serve to divide rather than bring us together for a better of St. Maarten. With this case and others, we always need to be mindful of the message we are sending, to our people and professionals, both here and abroad. As a young educated professional and son of the soil who came back home, I am just seeking to play my part in building and developing my country that I love so much, and if I have to fight to get that opportunity and get what is only fear to me then I will just have to do so and use the tools that my country equipped me with when it gave me the opportunity to educate myself.

Denicio Richardson

 

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