Thursday 20 February, 2020

Airport guard fights suspension

Lawyers for suspended Estate Constable Kelvon Alexander have served the Airports Authority with legal notice calling for the security guard’s no-pay, two-week suspension to be withdrawn.

Alexander was suspended on November 16 after he dealt with Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses and Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis in a “discourteous” and “injudicious” manner, arising out of an incident which occurred in September.

In a letter dated December 5, attorney Kiel Taklalsingh said it was clear that Alexander’s suspension was not common practice, nor was it based on any “good and substantial grounds”.

“Rather it was an attempt to treat with ministerial interference and/or to countenance an abuse of power,” Taklalsingh noted.

The Airports Authority on Monday said that the decision to suspend Alexander followed a review of CCTV footage, however, the attorney said it was not shown or disclosed to his client.

A request by LoopTT for said footage was ignored.

Taklalsingh said his client was made to submit a report on the incident without being given any context or being informed of the document’s purpose.

Further, Alexander was not told that he was being investigated for misconduct.

On submission of the report, Taklalsingh said his client was “punitively suspended” without a hearing or being afforded an opportunity to respond to any allegations made against him.

The attorney argued that the imposition of the suspension was unreasonable and “did not sufficiently respect procedural fairness”.

“Furthermore the length of suspension imposed was inappropriate, disproportionate and apparently designed to prevent other officers from fulfilling their lawful duties as our Client endeavoured to do at all times.”

In addition to the withdrawal of the suspension from Alexander’s record, the attorney is requesting that the officer be adequately compensated for the unlawful suspension imposed.

Should the Airports Authority fail to respond within seven days, legal proceedings will be initiated without further notification.

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