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Supreme Court quashes decision of PSC

Published:Saturday | June 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

THE SUPREME Court has quashed the decision of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to fire Permanent Secretary Robert Rainford and has given him the opportunity to take the issue to the local Privy Council within the next 14 days.

The Office of the Services Commission had sent a letter to Rainford on September 26, 2013, informing him that he was being fired for bailing former Cash Plus boss Carlos Hill in 2010.

Rainford, who was permanent secretary in the the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development at the time he was fired, had received a letter on September 25, 2013 from the Office of the Governor General advising him of the dismissal and advising him to refer his case to the Privy Council which advises the Governor General.

He took Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, the Public Service Commission and the Chief Personnel Officer to court challenging his dismissal.

When the case came for hearing, Solicitor General Nicole Foster Pusey conceded that the letter firing Rainford was an error and he still had a hearing before the Privy Council.


Justice David Batts heard legal arguments in the matter and yesterday quashed the dismissal letter. The judge granted a declaration that Rainford was entitled to an opportunity to consider whether he wished the matter referred to the Privy Council. He said the time for doing so was the next 14 days. Costs were awarded to Rainford.

Justice Batts held that the second letter has no effect as it deprived Rainford of his entitlement to 14 days to determine whether he would appeal a recommendation for his dismissal before the local Privy Council.

Rainford was the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice in 2010 when he posted bail for Hill in the amount of $15 million.The Office of the Trustee in Bankruptcy, which is seeking to recover money for Cash Plus depositors, operates under the Ministry of Justice.

Hill is charged with fraudulently inducing persons to invest in the failed investment scheme, Cash Plus.

The Hylton Committee was asked to enquiry into the bail issue and concluded in its report that Rainford had committed an act prejudicial to good order and discipline and the act was sufficiently serious to warrant his dismissal. Rainford and his lawyers had participated at the hearing before the committee.

Attorneys-at-law Douglas and Duane Thomas who represented Rainford in the Supreme Court said Rainford will be turning up for work on Monday. The lawyers say they will be looking at options in relation to the matter.