Parliament meets today to discuss the Police Service Commission (PSC) nomination of Stephen Williams as Commissioner of Police, but ahead of this another candidate, Wayne Hayde, has sent a pre-action protocol letter to PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad claiming he was not treated “fairly” and demanding his name be put on the merit list.
Through attorneys Fulton Wilson and Company, Hayde sought to debunk the commission’s position that a candidate who attained the age of 60 cannot apply for the CoP position and is also claiming he was graded on a question he was never asked or answered.
Hayde has described the PSC’s actions as “capricious, arbitrary and unfair” and is threatening legal action if it does not put his name on the merit list.
In the pre-action letter, Hayde denied claims by former PSC chairman Marie Therese Gomes that he was asked whether he wanted to be considered for the Deputy Commissioner post. He said he was never asked that question but “points were awarded or conclusions made by the PSC on the basis of the answers given to the question that had not been asked.”
At least one other CoP candidate told the T&T Guardian he was not asked the question either.
Hayde, a former cop now working with the UN in Uganda, is alleging he was ‘treated unfairly” and his position on the shortlist and subsequent omission from the merit list was due in part to the omission made by the PSC with respect to that question.
In the circumstances, the letter said “the failure of the PSC to properly, fairly and adequately assess and grade” Hayde’s application and omission of his name from the merit list is “legally wrong and represents a breach of his right to fair and equitable treatment.”
The pre action letter, dated July 17, demanded that the error be corrected immediately “by not only including his name on the merit list but also place him in a position on same, which takes into account the actions and omissions made by the PSC that resulted in his improper grading and omission from the said list.”
The letter cited among other things statements by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in Parliament that after the process undertaken by KPMG, with the involvement of the PSC, 11 candidates were deemed suitable and shortlisted, five for the CoP post and six for Deputy CoP.
The five shortlisted for the CoP position were identified as Deodat Dulalchan, Gary Griffith, Stephen Williams Hayde and Glen Hackett. But Hayde is contending only four people applied for the CoP position. He said he was led to conclude that the PSC, after deliberations, removed himself and Hackett from the shortlist while Dulalchan and Phillip, who applied for DCP, were elevated to the merit list “without proper explanation.”
The pre-action also notes statements made by Seepersad, in her letter to President Paula-Mae Weekes, that the PSC “simply does not have the money, time and other resources to conduct a completely new process” and that “two candidates were over sixty years old.”
The letter said Hayde felt he was “omitted based on the fact” he was 60 years at the time of his application. But it noted by law there is “no impediment for a person who is sixty years or over from applying or being appointed to either the posts of CoP or DCP.”
Hayde is also contending his age was listed on his application and yet he was ‘invited to participate in two separate interviews in November and December 2017.’ He said he was provided with two business class tickets from Uganda paid for by the PSC to attend the interviews.
The letter noted it was “therefore inconceivable” that the PSC, whose members had participated in both interviews and other aspects of the assessment, knew or believed Hayde was “ineligible for appointment as CoP due to his age.” There was also nothing in the ad put out by the PSC with regard to age, the letter said.
Efforts to contact both Gomes and Seepersad were unsuccessful yesterday.
The selection process for the top cop has resulted in pre-action protocols from two other candidates, Griffith and Dulalchan. Dulalchan and Phillip’s nominations have already gone before Parliament and were rejected.
Two weeks ago the parliament referred the selection process back to the PSC, telling the commission the merit list was still valid.