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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Witter's leadership style wasn't the best, says Acting Public Defender

Published:Monday | December 29, 2014 | 6:15 PM
Witter (left) and Mukulu (right)

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Acting Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu, has declined to comment on reports that his predecessor, Earl Witter, has apologised for recommending him to the post.

Witter reportedly wrote to the Governor-General claiming he made an error in recommending Mukulu to temporarily fill the top post after he retired in April.

READ: Deeply Disappointing... JLP Group Reacts To Witter's Regret In Recommending Acting Public Defender

But in May, Mukulu told The Gleaner’s Jovan Johnson in the online current affairs programme, On the Record that under Witter’s leadership, the office failed to close most of the cases opened.

These are some concerns Mukulu highlighted:

Earl Witter’s leadership style

Mr. Witter would be the first to admit, his leadership style might not have been the best but he would say there are reasons why he led in the way he did.

Some challenges

We have only three investigators and it’s recommended that we have five investigators.

Public perception of Office

The public certainly has justifiable reasons not to have been totally pleased with the service that we have rendered over the last four or so years.

Unacceptable clearance rate

From 2006/7-2013, we would have looked at over 5,000 cases and disposed of less than half... it cannot be standard going forward.

Failure to use Public Defender Act

We have failed in the last six or so years, we have not used statutory powers to get persons to respond, we accept that.

Charting new frontiers

We want to chart new frontiers, to use our powers more effectively; there’s a lot that we can do that we have not been doing.

The Office of the Public Defender and public

The staff members are ready and willing to engage with public in a different way

WATCH: Acting Public Defender affirms, admits apologises

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