Press Release:– The St. Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has taken note of a news item reported in the media in which the Minister of Tourism – Dr. Ernest Hilaire in responding to a question posed by a news reporter said that the former Acting Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Peter Chiquot should be fired immediately.
The CSA believes that such a statement is inappropriate and should not have been made by the Minister in the circumstances.
CSA acknowledges the right of the Minister to seek remedies in the appropriate quarters if he believes that he suffered personal injury, however, considers this public call for the dismissal of Mr. Chiquot to be highly offensive to all public officers. Dr. Hilarie is urged to reflect upon his statement and take corrective action as deemed necessary.
The CSA has also taken note of inappropriate remarks made by the Leader of the
Opposition targeting the current acting Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Sherman
Emmanuel in relation to the decision to withdraw charges previously laid against
CSA is equally concerned that those statements may have brought the Office of the Comptroller of Customs into disrepute, bearing in mind that the Acting Comptroller is empowered by the law to make decisions in matters of this nature.
There are well established guidelines and procedures for dealing with alleged acts of misconduct by public officers, which includes the right to due process and the CSA will not tolerate any attempt by any politician to influence or undermine the role of the Public Service Commission in carrying out its disciplinary function.
The operations of the Public Service must be guided by the principles of neutrality and
non-interference by politicians and the CSA regards the statements and inferences
being made to be totally out of order.