Officer Lewis: THE INJUSTICE WITHIN THE JUSTICE MINISTRY HAS TO STOP NOW!

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Based on the press release [EDITOR NOTE: this was a LETTER TO THE EDITOR] on 721 NEWS on December 7, 2019 whereas my name was mentioned as one of the Police officers home for many years. I have also shared the same sentiments mentioned in aforementioned news article in the past. But nothing gets done about the matter.

I’m a civil servant for nearly 13 years. I was appointed as the youngest National Detective in the rank of police inspector at the National Detective Agency after passing my interview with the selection committee, just a day before my 28th birthday on December 1st 2014.
Prior to that I’ve held positions in the ranks Constable, Sergeant and Major. Therefore, I never jumped or skipped any ranks. Every position held I went through the selection process and was selected based on policy.

I have always had an issue when it comes to materializing my promotions. The salary scales were always incorrectly executed. I got victimized by the management of KPSM and later on the National Detective Agency, because of writing letters to former ministers of justice on my behalf and that of various colleagues, even being in our rights, after this was proven more over in court.

In March 2015 respectfully requested a meeting former head of the National Detectives Agency Mr. Ademar Doran, Edson Kirindongo and Ms. Lucy Gachette who were part of the management at the time. I brought up my agenda points which were only based on policy and I was let to know not to question the way they do things there. Ms. Gachette stated that I was rude because I mentioned how she was promoted from scale 9 to scale 12 at the National Detective Agency as a police chief inspector when she just an inspector on scale 9 when she left KPSM.

I was told then to resigned from the Union and refrain from assisting my colleagues in the fight for their rightful positions and salary scales or I will be kicked out from the department.

I was unlawfully sent home in April 2015 just 4 months after my new appointment, by former head of the National Detectives Agency Mr. Ademar Doran. An individual that was well known for abusing his position to victimize his subordinates when they stood up to him
I remained active in fighting for my rights and that of other colleagues within the Justice Ministry and other colleagues within other ministries. Seemingly being young and dynamic is a problem for certain superiors.

In February 2016 Mr. Kirindongo as Minister of Justice informally placed me as a Team leader at the Simpson Bay Police Station and then a few weeks later placed me on an illegal leave of absence on the request of the Chief of Police, claiming I should stay home until my initiated court case with regards my rank and salary to be determined by the judge that would be respected and thereafter I would be formally placed back by KPSM.

In August 2016 I won my case and Kirindongo went back on his word and appeal the case in the court of appeals in Curacao.

In January 2018, the case was later retracted by former Minister Raphael Boasman who also informed me in writing that the court decision of August 22, 2016 will be honored and that I would receive my new decree. That I will not be placed by KPSM but my department head from the National Detective agency will have to call in for work. I contacted Doran via email informing him that I’m available but he never responded. Later that year Doran left the National Detective agency. Till to date I have not received my retroactive payments from December 1, 2014 as a police inspector on scale 10 by the National Detective Agency.

After contacting former Minister of Justice Van Hugh C. De Weever, I was a called by the acting head Lucy Gachette. Gachette explained that I have to go through the VDSM screening before returning to work. I complied at once and the screening begun on September “13”, 2018. The screening process can take up to 8 weeks. Now after 15 months since the screening commenced, I can’t receive a conclusion of the screening nor have I gotten another call from Gachette or the Interim Head Denise Jacobs.

I’ve had a taste of the vindictive and abuse of power also from Denise Jacobs as head of detectives at KPSM when I was a detective under her command. She also abused her position to move and send other senior Police detectives unlawfully home with pay. I also wrote a report about her un-professionalism to the Minister Denis Richardson.

But like many letters I have wrote to Government none non have gotten a response.

I’ve always been active in fighting for the rights of anyone that seeks my assistance. Be it police, Immigration, customs, Coast Guards, teachers, firemen, prison guards or workers in the private sector. I risk losing my job because of this. My integrity can’t be questioned for this reason I will not stop the fight against the mismanagement and abuse of power by these department heads representing the “JUSTICE” ministry.

We are in need for professionals to run the departments. Many civil servants are suffering because of bad management. How can a civil servant serve the general public well if he/she isn’t served well? How longer will they be able to uphold and execute the law effective and efficient if there are no regard for them by their management? Who evaluates these department heads?

There are many Justice employees at home on taxpayers expense because of victimization.
But yet we are requesting assistance to strengthen the force.

The Minister of Justice needs to call his management teams to order and have everyone placed to work immediately. No business owner will be paying an employee for over 5 years because they don’t like the person. It’s ludicrous and we the employees have had enough.

Since 10-10-2010 Country St. Maarten doesn’t have a formal placement plan or policy for any employees working under the Justice Ministry. It’s a shame.

A man born into wealth can’t even imagine what it is to be poor. The main reason I postulated as a candidate is to become a Member of Parliament to make and amend laws in the best interest of the people, because who feels it knows it.

My salary is currently nearly 6000 guilders per month with a pending 5-year retroactive lumpsum pending to be paid on tax payers expense and I’m being prohibited to work because I stand up against the injustices within a Justice Ministry.

Lyndon C.J. Lewis