Ousted Police Federation chair seeks reinstatement

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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THE Jamaica Police Federation yesterday said it was surprised by the legal challenge that has been mounted by recently ousted chairman, Corporal Arleen McBean, but insisted that she was duly removed from her position as chairman after the executive lost confidence in her leadership.

The vocal police corporal —who was the first woman to be elected as chairman —– and her attorney, Hugh Wildman, on Monday brought an exparte notice of application for a mandatory injunction in the Supreme Court, which seeks to have the corporal reinstated as chairman of the police union which represents the rank and file of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

In the affidavit, which list the newly elected chairman, Inspector Sheldon Gordon, newly elected general secretary, Sergeant Patrae Rowe, and the Police Federation, as first, second and third respondents respectively, Corporal McBean alleged that she was unconstitutionally removed from her post in January.

McBean noted she was elected last May to serve as chairman for a year under provision provided in the the Jamaican Constabulary Force Act. However, she alleged that Gordon, who was then general secretary, and Rowe, who was then a director of legal affairs, both arranged for a meeting to be convened in which Gordon assumed the role of chairman and caused a motion to be moved in which she lost her position as chairman.

She further alleged that Gordon caused a second motion to be move which resulted in Sergeant Rowe being appointed the general secretary.

Corporal McBean further contended that the appointment of both Police Federation executives should be considered “illegal, null and void”.

Sergeant Rowe yesterday yesterday rubbished the claim that the first female chairman had been illegally removed from her position.

“The Police Federation stands by our decision which was unanimous and unopposed. It is distressing that we are distracted at this moment by a court action when we have a number of pressing issues to attend to on the behalf of our members,” he said.

Noting that the executive members of the federation had lost confidence in McBean's leadership, he said the corporal had accepted the no-confidence vote at the time and was even vocal in the media about her acceptance of the said action.

“Therefore,” he said, “the receipt of the court document by the federation is very surprising to us.”

Nevertheless, he said the federation is already in talks with its lawyers to look at the content of the document so as to respond accordingly.

In the meantime, Wildman insisted that his client was illegally removed from her position as chairman of the federation and that he wants the court to make a decision in the matter and for her to be reinstated while the matter is being heard.

According to Wildman, a date is to be set this week for the court to hear arguments.

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