AG says Government does not owe Jacqueline Theodore

Attorney General Francine Baron-Royer

By Hermisha Rolle, Staff reporter

The Government of Dominica is relying on the decision of the Court of Appeal to grant an application of stay, so that it will be able to go forward with an appeal  against the amount of money that has been ordered to pay a former Labour Party Senator for damage caused to her land in 2008.

A tribunal awarded Jacqueline Theodore in excess of$3 million for that damage of her property, of  which she has already been paid $ 210,737 according to the Government.

The State is of the view that Theodore should only be entitled to the sum of money that she has already received and that the total sum of $3 million is too excessive.

Speaking to media practitioners today following a hearing at the Court of Appeal, Attorney General Francine Baron-Royer said that it is a concern that this money will have to be taken from tax payers’, and may permanently deprive the State of that sum.

“ The State is concerned that if a stay is not granted then the order is impossible; that the State will be required to pay 3 million dollars to Miss Theodore, in respect of a judgment which we think that we can succeed an appeal on. And we are concerned that if that amount is paid to Miss Theodore that the State may not be able to recover that amount from Miss Theodore, as such we are asking the matter to be stayed, pending the decision of the Court of Appeal,” Baron-Royer said.

One of her concerns is the sourcing of funds to re-pay Theodore.

“One has to be aware that the state does not have an independent source of funds, the 3 million dollars is tax payers money and Government has to be very careful how tax payers’ money is dispersed. Therefore if the State is of the opinion that it has very good grounds of appeal in respect of this matter and it will likely succeed on an appeal and that the likely order of the court might be a significantly lesser sum to be awarded to Miss Theodore…” she explained.

Baron-Royer reiterated that the sum of $210,737 is what the state considers it owes to Theodore, for the trespass onto her land. She said that the State has not acquired the land and is owned by her, but there was entry onto the land and some damage was done that she should be compensated for, which she was.

“Let the Court of Appeal decide whether anything more than that should be paid to Theodore and then if it is, then the State will wish that the stay be granted,” the attorney-general stated.

Theodore had taken the Roosevelt Skerrit Administration to task, stating that she was not fully compensated by the Government, for cutting a section of her land for use as a road some years ago.

However, at a press conference in March Prime Minister Skerrit said a private company was responsible for cutting the road at the time under the United Workers Party (UWP) administration, and not his DLP Government.

“This Government in 2000 to 2005 [and] 2009 never took Mrs. Theodore’s land. Rosie Douglas (dead former prime minister), Pierre Charles (dead former prime minister) and myself were never responsible for taking Mrs. Theodore’s land. A private company back then under the United Workers Party government went in and built a road on property belonging to Mrs. Theodore’s husband. The Government at the time had nothing to do with that,” he explained.

Skerrit reiterated that it was not a government or cabinet action, but that of the private company involved in lumber. He said the UWP Government got involved in the matter for political reasons, and the then minister of works authorised that the government would compensate the Theodore family in respect to the trespassers.

He blamed the entire situation on the “mistake” of the UWP’s minister of works, who caused the government to become a party in this matter.

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48 Comments

  1. THE truth that hide in the darkness will come out in the light
    April 23, 2010

    that is just the attorney general admitting to government squandering tax payers money. look how government spends money like it flows from the mountains in abundance without first thinking where does it all come from. Now they cant even own up and take responsibility and pay the lady they talking about if they pay her 3mill they wont be able to recover that sum of money from her. but they cant jus give her 210 000 at least 1 mill is true it might be much but they have to realise they have to inherit the good and the bad of being in office its the position they fight for.

  2. dominican always
    April 22, 2010

    i think its i very hypocrital of the ag to say the state must be careful of how it spends tax payer monies yet how can she justify the monies spent in the red clinic if there was vetting process to select the people who gained from the red clinic how comes no one but the pm knew about it

  3. Dominican
    April 22, 2010

    Is not the DLP that take the lady land ? So then let the UWP pay her for her land. $3million dollars this is ridiculous!!!! The lady behaving like Skerrit take her land and build his house on it . Why she doh go and ask the UWP for her money. She must be real. The government using the road then? Well I must go and take a drive on this road to see if she will arrest me for trespassing? $3million is a figure in a dream . All you want all roads to fix and she want 3 million? Skerrit campaign money has nothing to do with that. Ask Linton to give some of the st Kitts campaingn money, not Skerrit money.

  4. Ca Bon Pour yo
    April 22, 2010

    So all u can spend how much millions to campaign and all u canna give the lady back her money, the money Skerrit used to campaign, why didnt he be a good little citizen and put it in the treasury instead of foolishly laundering it all around the country, ah force all u think all u smart, like they make smart for all u alone,,,,,,

    But anyway is they that put all u there,,, so welcome to the next level my fellow Dominicans

  5. NFF
    April 22, 2010

    If it was allu land and is Domlec or LIME or Dowasco that had done this allu would be ready to kill for the money. All the facts came out in the court and they found that the lady should be compensated 3 million yet Dominicans that never went to one hearing nor visited the land is saying other wise. Why? explain to me please, these comments just shows the world our ignorance over and over again. The government is going against the court rulings and there are people that support that. Wow Dominicans never cease to amaze me.

  6. STAY TUNED
    April 22, 2010

    well to my surprise those morning. Jacqueline is reporting that it was discovered yesterday during appeal court that her response to the application to put a stay on the matter was removed from the registry files. As a result, the matter nearly close behind her back and she would suck salt?!

    What is really going on in this country…

    • Dr. Finger
      April 22, 2010

      Interesting allegation. If that is the case an investigation should be carried out to determine who is the perpetrator. We cannot keep messing with legal documents or peoples personal emails. I deplored the hacking of the PM’s email during the election campaign and I am deploring such actions “IF” such actions really took place.

      • STAY TUNED
        April 22, 2010

        well Theodore’s lawyer presented documentation to prove he submitted the response. howcome it not in the file? … What nonesense is that?

        • DominicaDIVA
          April 22, 2010

          LOL dat is allu nex level. take it

  7. Truth B Told
    April 22, 2010

    THE LEGAL PROCESS…

    We have Courts and an appeal process for a reason. Let the case run its full course and let all the salient facts be explained in their entirety, then, if the ruling is Ms. Theodore is due further payment, whatever the amount it should then be paid to her. If not she should be happy she received compensation for any inconvenience caused by the “trespass” onto her husband’s property.

    In my humble opinion, she has been adequately compensated already, but that’s just one persons opinion, and you know what they say about opinions…. they are like …….. everyone has one… and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.

  8. D/can to de Bone(foregin)
    April 21, 2010

    Most of you all who commment here talk to much rubbish .No positive contribution on the th matter,to much bias comment .It time you people be fair when commmenting on a matter. Imagine ,reading you all bias and base less comment on the internet world wide.

    Get you all facts right and make a unbisas comment on matters in the future. All you Dominican like to criticise and tanish your own people name , very petty and narrow minded people .

    I wonder if i can come and live home among this ignorace that going on…………. GOD BLESS MY DOMINICA THE LAND I ALWAYS LOVE NO MATTER WHERE I AM OUT OF DOMINICA….. I LOVE MY PEOPLE ALSO.

    I AM NOT NO POLITICAL BOMM BOM FLY , PEOPLE SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY HELP IN POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION WHERE POSSIBLE DOMINICA IS OURS TO DEVELOP.GOVERNMENT COME GOVERNMENT GO…….

    • gwatance
      April 22, 2010

      well stay in dam foreign nuh, like a haitian, you missing you?

  9. obama qui La
    April 21, 2010

    The people in power are only concerned about Tax payers money when the money is not destined for their personal bank account and pockets or that of cronies. If the government is truly concerned about Tax payers then Stop selling our passports; cut back on the number of useless ministers and government high positions; Cut back on all those non functional embassadors;

  10. Richard Prior
    April 21, 2010

    PPL i WONDER WHAT IS TIM TIM SAYING ABOUT THIS. HIS FEET MUST BE IN HIS MOUTH

  11. DLP SUPPORTER
    April 21, 2010

    My point is, “give Jack his jacket and give JACQUELINE her lipstick”!

    Well thank you!!!!!1

  12. April 21, 2010

    Pay De Lady her money and vex with her !

  13. Democracy Watching
    April 21, 2010

    Pay the lady!! After all these years! Now they are worried about the tax payers money? What happened to all the loads of money Dominica had before election? It is a damned shame! We going the wrong way. We mal maway under labour. This country is in darkness, and God is the only One to remove it.

  14. Cassandra
    April 21, 2010

    First of all this a government issue, not a party issue. However no government is above the law as much as they might like to think they are the law.
    Image a defendant appealing a fine on the grounds that:

    – it is not fair as it comes out of the family budget and that he/she should be the arbiter of what should be paid, if anything at all.
    – he/she can not afford it.

    And that after arbitration!
    Good luck with the judges!

  15. Bagguyla
    April 21, 2010

    Give the lady her money, they not saying at all that the sum was increased due to inflation because they have been playing cat and mouse with the case trying not to pay the lady her money when they knew well that there was indeed an offence.

  16. Bagguyla
    April 21, 2010

    When will these politicians stop talking s***!!! It is a shame that even our most prominent politicians/ supposed to be statesmen exhibit such ignorance. It is true that the offence was committed while the UWP was in office but Mrs. Theodore did not take the party to court she took the Government to court, so the fact that another party is now is office is besides the point. The error was unfortunate but it does not make the Government less responsible because there is a different administration now. This statement about who was in office at the time equates to saying for example that the DLP administration is not responsible to repay debts acquired by UWP administration. It is a GOVERNMENT MATTER and not a party. This just goes to show that we are stuck in culture of petty politics and clans. When in Government you are supposed to act on behalf of that state not any party!!!!

  17. April 21, 2010

    Pay the lady her money and if the Tax paying public have to foot the bill so be it, just months gone by DOMINICA had so much money throwing around at election time now we are told paying the fine will be a drain on the Island nonsense.
    If the Tax payers have a problem they will have to deal with it at the election poll.

  18. watch still
    April 21, 2010

    DLP AND THE BLAME GAME. UWP. WHEN WILL THIS OUR GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE UP RESPONSIBILITY? WHY THE AG COMMENTING NOW, THE GOVERNMENT CAN GET MONEY TO DO EVRYTHING ELSE HOW COMES THEY CAN’T MONEY TO PAY THE LADY? IS IT ONLY NOW MADAM AG YOU ARE AWARE ITS TAXPAYERS MONIES BEING SPENT? TAXPAYERS MONIES ARE SPENT TO FINANCE THE LAVISH LIFE OF SOME BIG DOGS N THEIR FRENZ. TAXPAYERS MONIES ARE BEING SPENT TO PAY TECHNOCRATS HUGE SUM N ATTRACTIVE PACKAGES FOR A JOB MOST OF THEM CANT DO? ….WHAT ARE THEIR SPECIALITIES? PAY THE WOMAN, DA JUS NOT 4 THE PLE AGAIN

  19. DIASPORA JEW
    April 21, 2010

    Pay the lady her money…

  20. ray
    April 21, 2010

    YOU ARE JUST A MAD*** OBSERVER!

  21. COMMUNIST
    April 21, 2010

    domies in a can again
    thats what u all are

  22. elbigsexy
    April 21, 2010

    It’s rather amazing, that these politicians open their mouths only when they see an opportunity to play mind games on us poor people. After all the money that was wasted through the campaign, the AG never mumbled, now that THE GOVERNMENT, has to spend tax payers money to compensate a tax payer, you complaining? WOW!
    I guess somewhere in your minds, as long as THE GOVERNMENT pretends to be on the side of the mases we will support you all.
    Pay the lady her money! I dont care which government was in power.

    You all come and go. The fact remains that the decision was made the government, so the government must pay.

    SAMRT @$$e$$

    • Don't You Wish?
      April 22, 2010

      You too lie, if it was Labour that was in Power when it happened all you would have care. I sick and fed up of us having to still deal with some of the nonsense that UWP did as a Government. If I was the Ag and we really had to pay the 3 mil, I would confiscate the land, until Eddie, Ron, Prevost, Timothy(yes I said it) paid the govt back for their foolishness and then I would give it back to her.

  23. Bolt
    April 21, 2010

    How could Jacqueline expect Govt to pay her $3 Million and still keep the property?

    Please Read, …..I notice some people don’t read, they just react to the headline and side with their party

    “Baron-Royer reiterated that the sum of $210,737 is what the state considers it owes to Theodore, for the trespass onto her land. She said that the State has not acquired the land and is owned by her, but there was entry onto the land and some damage was done that she should be compensated for, which she was.”

    PLEASE READ DOMINICANS

    • Roz
      April 22, 2010

      I’m reading. So the courts award Mrs. Theodore 3 million. How the government figure is only $ 210,737 they owe her?

      So the government want to be defendant, judge and jury all in one?

  24. HMMMM(1)
    April 21, 2010

    Don’t be greedy over a piece of land God created. We all came and met the piece of land there and we all have to leave it. $200,000 + not enough for the lady? What she wants to be the only rich person in the land and others get poor?

  25. Grand Bayrian
    April 21, 2010

    Now look at the situation, the courts ordered the government of Dominica to pay the woman $3 million dollars for her land, the government object, and decided to pay her the sum of $ 210,737. We are being told no one is above the law by so called people in authority. when the local man don’t respect the law, when police slash the Prime Minister and the President’ s car tires and nothing happened. What else do you want people to do? I see my country slowly becoming a throw away society.

  26. April 21, 2010

    This is ridiculous the money is not too much to pay the woman for her late husband’s property , here you have the Prime Minister with a house worth over millions of dollars what about that, regardless of which political party were in power when the land was taken, Freedom, UWP or Labor the government need to pay the woman for her land and all the damaged cause, again these type of activities can only take place in Dominica an Island with less that eighty thousand people, had it been Mr so and so the so called rich in the island, they would have gotten their money long time ago, In Dominica all dick tom and harry who had nothing to show, getting themselves into politic, calling themselves Minister, without a political science degree, victimizing others, due to the fact that they think that they are above the law, building huge houses, living a lavish lifestyle, where are they getting the money to pay for their mansions and lifestyle? which automatically changed as soon as they become Ministers, Senators and Prime Minister, … I guarantee that had it been Mr Baron or Tony’s family property, Dominicans would not be saying that the money is too much, where was Skeritt, Mr Baron Royer and the now so called Labor Ministers, when the woman’s father Mr Huckley Laurent die heart Labori contributed and represented the Labor Party, where were they, this woman raised in a strong Labor Party Household, unlike the so called Freedom, Young Freedom Movement, who right now turn Labor, the PM will have to asked his Father Chavez or Putin to give him the money but the government need to pay the woman for her property and all the mental anguish this is causing her. Dominica is not a broke island, what about all the money which the government if getting for the sale of the Dominica Passport where is it going, and as i say only in Dominica

  27. Dr. Finger
    April 21, 2010

    Regardless of what the court of appeals say, right is right so do the right thing and pay the lady her money. UWP may have messed up but when we make commitments as representatives of the people we must honor those commitments regardless if the government changes. After all, governments are the representatives of the people. This is truly a sad and disappointing action. Let justice prevail and injustice become a thing of the past in the interest of a better Dominica.

  28. Observer
    April 21, 2010

    AA madam AG, I am surprise that is you they give to handle that case. How comes it is not Tony who talking on this matter. You finally got work for you to do as AG.

    • April 22, 2010

      There’s a difference between political matters (Tony Astaphan deals with that) and STATE matters which the Attorney General has to deal with.

    • oh yes
      April 22, 2010

      u all are seriously comparing $250,000 to $3 million?????? allu dominicans stupider than i thought man. stop making things about politics. the private company that trespassed should have been the ones to pay first of all. and $3 million is ridiculous. what happen? whole of calibishie she owned man and they destroyed it all????

      when they pay the money, and jack up taxes and lower salaries, i hope allu will keep allu a** shut!!!

    • DominicaDIVA
      April 22, 2010

      LOL..true…and
      … now allu concerned about tax payers money… wat about those monetary gifts in the red clinic…wen some of us spoke against it allu say we jelous…

  29. April 21, 2010

    The blame game continues the fact of the matter the blatant trespass and damage to the lady`s property deserves compensation now is not the time to stoll and deprive the lady her just dues. Suddenly some people ar concern about tax payers money if it is good for the goose it`s good for the gander.

  30. April 21, 2010

    ha ha ha! the PM is at it again. How foolish it is to think that the government is not responsible to pay the 3 million dollars.

  31. JEE
    April 21, 2010

    Pay the lady her money.Before the 2009 elections i was hearing that Dominica was one of the wealthiest country on earth.All of a sudden it has become poor.The country’s money does not belong to one set of people.Pay her. That’s the next level.

    • dominican
      April 21, 2010

      Lcm i agree with u

    • 'Iron' Mike Tyson
      April 21, 2010

      Where the !~(# you could ever hear that Dominica is one of the richest countries on earth. I have said over and over that if you people are not going to make meaningful contributions to discussions you should keep your damn mouths shut.

  32. dominican
    April 21, 2010

    pay the lady. find themoney the same place you find ways to spend tax payers money example 250000 on garbage bins

    • Facts
      April 22, 2010

      Use the money that government has to help with educational assistance to students, funeral expenses, medical expenses etc to pay her. oh and forget about any raise for public servants..just use that money to pay the lady. I am sure the tax payers won’t mind and they wont miss it at all.

  33. Anonymous
    April 21, 2010

    give the lady her money. Where was the state finding monies to pay 250000 for garbage bins? where are they now finding monies to pay excess to inside bidders on projects? had this lady still been a supporter she would have gotten paid

  34. LCM
    April 21, 2010

    I do not know the base for the fines but was the damages done as a result of labour party activities or Government activities. If the fines ordered to pay were justified then in my opinion she is entitled to every bit. The Government should be carefull in the decisions it make and be aware of the consequences. If the Tax payers have a problem with that then they have to express that come election time.

    • Don't You Wish?
      April 22, 2010

      Government activities the UWP at the time

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