Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Inside the Municipal Corporation | Meeting overshadowed by election challenge

Published:Monday | October 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteith

The monthly meeting of the St Thomas Municipal Corporation was on Thursday overshadowed by the recommencement of the ongoing election petition involving one of its councillors.

The case against the election of councillor for the Yallahs division, Dean Jones of the Jamaica Labour Party, resumed in the Supreme Court last week, following a four-month break.

When the matter was brought up, the court was told that the official resignation letter that was submitted by Jones prior to last year's local government elections could not be located.

This was revealed by the administrator at the Coroner's Court, Janet Morgan-Rodgers, who returned to the witness stand on Thursday.

According to her, a search for the document was done but it could not be found.

Also taking the stand was returning officer of Western St Thomas, Franklyn Holness, who admitted that he had run checks for Jones' residency as a voter when he applied in 2013 and again in 2014 but not as a candidate.

Holness, however, denied suggestions made by one of the attorneys that he failed in his duties as a returning officer or that he did not carry out his duties faithfully.

The court also heard testimony from the judge to whom Jones was assigned while he worked as a court orderly.

The written submissions are to be filed and served to the court on November 10 and oral submissions to be made on December 5.

The petition, which was filed by People's National Party's Constantine Bogle following the November 28, 2017 local government elections, challenges the appointment of Jones.

Bogle, who is the former councillor for the Yallahs division, is claiming that Jones did not live in the parish and was a civil servant up to the time of his nomination.

The matter started in July but was adjourned as the presiding judge had other matters to complete before the court term ended for the summer holiday.