Dominican Atlee Rodney, who was appointed Commissioner of Police in the twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda, has found himself in an uncomfortable situation, after a high court judge ruled yesterday that his employment was unlawful, null and void.
The decision followed a motion filed by former Police Commissioner Wendel Robinson, who now practices as an attorney-at-law.
Rodney was appointed Commissioner of Police in February 2020, three months after Robinson was terminated, stripped of his rank, his pension, gratuity and other allowances that he would have accumulated during 32 years and 10 months of service in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.
In his June 2020 declaration, Robinson told the court that his termination as Commissioner was unlawful, null and void and infringed his constitutional rights; that the decision to strip him of his pension rights and gratuity was unlawful and unconstitutional; that the decision to remove him was unreasonable and motivated by bad faith or improper purposes and breached the rules of natural justice.
Justice Ann-Marie Smith ruled that the termination of the former commissioner was unlawful, null and void.
“Except for constitutional reliefs, the court agreed and declared everything else in the reliefs sought,” Robinson told the media in Antigua and Barbuda last night.
He also declared that it was unconstitutional for him to be deprived of having his appeal heard before the Police Service Board and that it was unconstitutional, unlawful, ultra vires, null and void to appoint Rodney as the new commissioner in light of how he was terminated.
It is not clear what the next step in the matter will be.