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Clergyman and custos considered for political ombudsman post

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Parchment Brown
Reverend Karl Johnson

Clergyman Karl Johnson and dispute resolution specialists Donna Parchment Brown are said to be the two persons shortlisted for the job of political ombudsman.

Well-placed Gleaner sources said Cabinet recently agreed that Johnson and Parchment Brown should be put forward for consideration as the next political ombudsman.

Former Political Ombudsman Bishop Herro Blair demitted office in June 2013 amid parliamentary deliberations on whether the office is relevant.

The law states that when a vacancy arises in the office of political ombudsman, the governor general, after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, may designate someone to act in that office during such vacancy, until an appointment is made.

Contacted yesterday, Parchment Brown offered "no comment" when asked if she has been made aware she has been shortlisted for the post.

Johnson said he has not heard and wasn't aware he was being considered.


Recognised with nat'l honour


Parchment Brown was in February installed as the Custos Rotulorum of St Andrew. She has more than 33 years experience as an attorney at law and is best known for her leadership of the Dispute Resolution Foundation from 1994 to 2013, a role which earned her national recognition and membership in the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, in 2004.

Johnson is general secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union. He has been an ordained minister of the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) since 1992 when he formerly began his Christian ministry in Ulster Spring, Trelawny.

The political ombudsman is empowered by law to investigate any action taken by a political party, its members or supporters, where he is of the opinion that such action constitutes or is likely to constitute a breach of any agreement, code or arrangement for the time being in force between or among political parties in Jamaica.

The political ombudsman's role also extends to conducting an investigation if he believes something is likely to prejudice good relations among the supporters of various political parties.