Police Complaints Authority director quits for High Court position
ATTORNEY and former acting High Court judge Gillian Lucky yesterday resigned her position as Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) with immediate effect.
Lucky presented her instrument of resignation to President Anthony Carmona in accordance with Section 13 of the PCA Act Chapter 15:05, according to a news release issued from the Office of the President yesterday evening.
The reason for her resignation was not officially stated in the release.
It is understood that Lucky has resigned her PCA position to accept a judgeship.
Sources close to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) and Government said yesterday that Lucky will be officially announced as a High Court Judge when the law term opens on September 16.
Under section 104 of the Constitution, the Judicial and Legal Service Commission has power to advise the President on the appointment of judges, other than the Chief Justice, the acting appointment of judges and the revocation of such acting appointments. The President must act upon the advice he receives from the commission on all such matters, the Service Commissions Department says on its website.
Lucky was previously appointed a temporary High Court Judge in 2009.
Calls to Lucky’s cell phone for further comment went unanswered yesterday.
The statement from the Office of the President said Carmona dispatched the letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and leader of the Opposition Dr Keith Rowley informing them of the resignation.
“The President further brought to their attention and guidance the statutory procedure to be triggered under section 6 (1) and (2) of the Police Complaints Authority Act for the appointment of a new director of the PCA to the effect inter alia that such appointment can initially be made on their joint advice to the President. He further intimated that failure to so advise jointly would trigger his statutory and constitutional power to appoint a director after consultation with them,” the release stated.
Lucky was appointed to a five-year term as the PCA’s director on December 29, 2010 by former president George Maxwell Richards. In the absence of a director the Express was told, the PCA’s deputy Director Master Ralph Doyle will be overseeing operations until a new director is appointed.
Doyle is a former master at the High Court and also served as a temporary High Court judge.
In the release,Lucky said, “Permit me to take this opportunity to thank Your Excellency and the Office of the President for all the support given to the PCA during my tenure as its Director. The opportunity is also taken to express sincere gratitude to all stakeholders, including the media that have contributed to the effective and efficient operation of the PCA. Your Excellency is assured that the deputy director and the members of staff will continue to fulfil the mandate of the PCA.”
Contacted yesterday evening, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said he was not willing to comment on the resignation until he had the opportunity to view the release issued by the Office of the President.
“I do not want to comment on it at this time, but if you were to call me back tomorrow after I see the release then I may be in a position to comment on it,” Williams said.
ON POLICE KILLINGS:
In June, Lucky held a meeting with acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to address the raging issue of police killings in this country. Following is a list of some of the concerns raised by Lucky during that meeting.
1. Whether an independent unit will be created in the TTPS to specifically deal with police killings
2. If the PCA could be better furnished with information regarding the matters which were being investigated
3. That the PCA intended to appoint an attorney to assist with the monitoring of ongoing matters under its remit
4. That investigations conducted by the PCA were being deterred by police officers not adhering to their standing orders
5. That the PCA’s investigators be informed of police killings in a more timely manner
6. That the PCA be allowed to visit these scenes to digitally record the incident
7. That there be policies or departmental officers to ensure that PCA investigators encounter no resistance from police officers in pursuance of their duties.
Flying squAd fiasco
The report of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) into the New Flying Squad Investigative Unit was not a confidential document. And nothing in it had implications for the national security of Trinidad and Tobago, nor would its disclosure have caused “major convulsions”.
In fact, the PCA could have published its findings because the report did not meet the threshold bar of confidentiality, as do other matters currently before the PCA.
This was Lucky’s position as the Authority appeared before the Joint Select Committee (JSC) at the Hamilton Maurice Room, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain in April.
The then -PCA director was grilled on the leak of the PCA’s report on the new Flying Squad. But she was ready with the responses, which were at odds with many of the things stated by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
The PCA report identified Garvin Heerah, current head of the National Security Operations Centre, as the man who was instrumental in facilitating the operations of the new Flying Squad.
The PCA report was prepared and presented on February 28. On April 8, People’s National Movement (PNM) public relations officer Senator Faris Al-Rawi, during his contribution in the Senate, referred to the report, which was carried exclusively in the Sunday Express of April 13, along with the report of the Police Service on the Flying Squad.
This leak of what the Attorney General described as confidential reports was deemed by him to be “tantamount to treason and a subversion of the State”.
Acting Commissioner of Police Williams near the end of April ordered acting assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deodath Dulalchan to investigate whether a criminal offence was committed and by whom, in the alleged leaking of the Police Service and Police Complaints Authority (PCA) reports into the new Flying Squad.
LIFE AND CAREER:
Lucky is a former senator and minister in the Office of the Attorney General and minister in the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
She contested and won the Pointe-a-Pierre constituency and became a member of the House of Representatives. She held this office until 2007.
Lucky obtained her LLB from The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados in 1989 where she was awarded the Therese Sylvester Award for the Most Outstanding University Student.
She went on to the Hugh Wooding Law School, and after two years there was admitted to practise at the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago in 1991.
In 1993 she became a Senior State Counsel attached to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, according to the Parliament’s website.
Lucky is currently the principal and a lecturer at the Academy of Tertiary Studies.
She has written as a newspaper columnist and hosted the television show, Just Gill on ieTV Channel 1 network.
Born in 1967, she is the daughter of former Appeal Court justice Anthony Lucky.