Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gafoor loses; tribunal can sit to determine if she should be fired

A High Court judge on Monday dismissed the judicial review suit filed by the deputy chair of the Integrity Commission, Gladys Gafoor, against the Commission's chairman, Ken Gordon, and commissioners Prof Ann Marie Bissessar and Neil Rolingson.

She was challenging the decision of the commissioners to force her to recuse herself from an investigation into former Attorney General John Jeremie.

The ruling by Justice Vashiest Kokaram has cleared the way for a three-member tribunal to investigate allegations against Gafoor and determine if she should be removed from her position.

Gafoor went to court asking for a ruling against a decision by the Commission on December 19, 2011, forcing her to recuse herself in the Jeremie matter. She was also seeking aggravated and/or exemplary damages for "serious damage to my professional reputation and integrity".

President Max Richards suspenbded Gafoor on February 9 and appointed the tribunal to conduct the tribunal, which is chaired by former chief justice Michael de la Bastide and comprises Neal Bisnath, Justice Humphrey Stollmeyer and Justice Maureen Rajnauth Lee.

Kokaram stated: "Insofar as Mrs Gafoor complained that it was for her alone to make the decision on the Jeremie complaint and that there was no discussion of the merits of the Jeremie complaint, it is an inconsistent statement.

"Indeed, she cannot seriously contend that the Commission was incapable of making a decision on the Jeremie complaint when it was she herself, by her letter to the chairman dated December 15, 2011, who invited the Commission to consider the Jeremie complaint on its merits and advise her whether she should recuse herself.

"Indeed, such an invitation conforms with the collegiate approach to determining the issue of a recusal and some commentators suggest that this may well be the modern approach."

Kokaram disagreed that Gafoor's rights, interests and entitlement as the deputy chairman were affected by the Commission's decision.

"There is no slur on her character or imputation of impropriety. She has not been voted out of office," he stated. "The claim will be dismissed and for the reasons set out in the judgment, the claimant will pay to the defendant two-thirds of its cost of its claim and application to set aside leave."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai