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St Thomas councillor says he mistakenly left occupation off nomination form

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

St Thomas councillor Dean Jones admitted today that he twice failed to declare his occupation on the nomination form he signed ahead of last November’s local government elections.

However, he insists that it was an oversight in both instances.

The admission came as Jones testified in the Supreme Court in the election petition filed against him by Constantine Bogle, who is 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 polls, Jones was a civil servant and that he did not live in the division, in contravention of the local government statute.

Jones, in his testimony today, acknowledged that he was employed by the state agency, Court Management Services (CMS), as a judge's orderly for 22 years 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.

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, just two days before nominations.

But he said he stopped working at the Coroner’s Court on October 26.

The Jamaica Labour Party councillor also testified 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.