– Deputy Graham still on the job
Commissioner of Police, Leslie James has been asked to proceed on his pre-retirement leave, leading to his ultimate retirement.
However, one of his deputies, Maxine Graham, who has leave due before her retirement, is still on the job.
Kaieteur News understands that the Commissioner was handed his letter of instructions on Thursday.
The duties of that Commissioner will be performed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Nigel Hoppie, until a replacement is selected.
Both the Top Cop and Graham were expected to cease functions in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) months ago but were still on the job despite accumulating significant leave.
Both James and Graham should have proceeded on their accumulated leave since early June.
Both, according to reports, have more than 16 months in accumulated leave. Kaieteur News also received copies of documents confirming that both the Top Cop and his Deputy should have been sent on leave.
According to the documents, Commissioner James has accumulated 306 days of leave, and should have proceeded on leave on June 28 last.
His retirement date, according to the documents seen, is May 5, 2021.
With regards to Deputy Commissioner Graham, she has accumulated 172 days of leave and should have left her post since June 11… her retirement date is December 1, 2020.
The issue was brought to fore after the de facto President David Granger gave approval for the Army Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, to proceed on accumulated pre-retirement leave effective from July 1. Colonel Godfrey Bess was selected to act as his successor.
West’s leave is expected to end in March 2021 at which time his retirement will kick in.
Back in 2015, when the Granger administration took office, all public servants were ordered to take their annual leave when due or forfeit same since it was recognized that taking payment in lieu of leave was putting a financial strain on government’s coffers.
Then State Minister, Joseph Harmon, in a message to those holding public offices stated: “We are saying, as a general statement, as from 2015 going forward, that when you are entitled to your leave, you have to take it in the year. If you don’t use it, you are going to lose it.”
Traditionally, any public servant who attains the age of 55 is required to retire from his or her post.
Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, back in July was questioned as to why both top police officials were still on the job.
He had stated: “Look, I don’t know why they are still on the job. I will have to check that out to see what exactly is happening over there. I am not aware of that…I know nothing about that.”
When contacted again, Ramjattan gave a different answer, claiming that James and Graham were “validly there”.
It was President David, however, who provided the reason why the duo still held public office.
Granger, during an interview, stated that they were asked to stay on the job to oversee a “special operation” – that operation being the 2020 Elections.
“We are in a very abnormal period of Guyanese history and the Commissioner of Police was required to supervise a special operation to ensure that there was no disturbance of the peace or disruptions during the elections,” Granger explained, citing the March 5 riots in Region 5 where one man lost his life, while many others including law enforcement officers and children were injured.
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