Misfeasance case an absurdity – Mary Francis

The misfeasance case against Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has created an absurdity at the highest level, Attorney at Law, Mary Francis has told the Times.

Francis said the case brings to mind the convention which has not been applied in this part of the world, in which political appointees do not have their contracts extended before a general election.

She explained that when the contracts are extended, it means that those persons are continuing in their positions.

“If the Attorney General is one such person, look at what it has produced,” Francis told the Times.

She said the Attorney General would be part of a cabinet and a claimant in a case against the Prime Minister in a case before the court.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s Attache, Nancy Charles, had herself described the situation as being “a little uncomfortable” being the PM while there is a pending case of the state against you.

In a ruling handed down last week, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal reinstated a claim against  Chastanet, alleging breach of trust and misfeasance in public office.

The action had previously been struck out by the judge hearing the case, which ruling has now been overturned.

On December 10, 2013, the attorney general of Saint Lucia filed a claim, which was amended on January 21, 2014, against Chastanet.

The claim also included Kenneth Cazaubon, former chairman of the Soufriere Town Council.

Several allegations were made in the claim.

Chief among the allegations was that Chastanet, as a then government minister and candidate for the United Workers Party (UWP) in the 2011 general elections, was involved in the expenditure of over $38,000 of public funds for personal and political benefit.

Chastanet, who was overseas on official business at the time of the new development in the case, was reported to be consulting with his lawyers.

His office said that he should be issuing a formal statement this week.

The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has called on him to ensure that the case continues.

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