Fri | Nov 17, 2017

St Thomas Election Petition | Councillor admits he failed to declare occupation

Published:Saturday | July 8, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

St Thomas Councillor Dean Jones admitted yesterday that he twice failed to declare his occupation on the nomination form he signed ahead of last November's local government elections. He, however, insists that in both instances, it was an oversight.

The admission came as Jones testified in the Supreme Court in the election petition filed against him by Constantine Bogle, the People's National Party (PNP) candidate he defeated.

The petition seeks to disqualify Jones from serving as councillor for the Yallahs Division in the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

Bogle is contending that at the time of the local government poll, Jones was a civil servant and that he did not live in the division, both in contravention of the local government statute.

Jones, in his testimony yesterday, acknowledged that for 22 years, he was employed by the state agency, Court Management Services (CMS), as a judge's orderly and was assigned to the Coroner's Court in downtown Kingston.

However, he insisted, during cross-examination by Bogle's attorney, Bert Samuels, that when he handed in his nomination papers for the election on November 11 last year, he was no longer a public servant.

He acknowledged that when he handed his nomination papers to the returning officer, his occupation was the only section he did not complete and said the election official never pointed out the omission to him.

"So you were called upon to give your occupation twice and you did not put it, and that was an oversight?" Samuels questioned.

"It does happen," Jones replied.

 

HOUSE IN PORTMORE

 

Jones testified that he handed his letter of resignation to administrator at the Coroner's Court Janet Morgan Rogers on October 25 last year.

He acknowledged that in the letter, he gave CMS two weeks' notice that would have ended on November 9, two days before nominations, but said he stopped working at the Coroner's Court on October 26.

The Jamaica Labour Party councillor testified, too, that he has lived in St Thomas for several years, but acknowledged that he and his wife own another home in Portmore, St Catherine.

He said he stays in St Thomas "three to four times" per week and that his wife and two children would sometimes visit him on weekends and holidays.

Jones drew laughter in the packed courtroom when he testified that the house in St Thomas has no refrigerator, television or microwave oven.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com