Dear Editor,

The editorial in the Daily Herald newspaper of Friday, May 10th, 2024 titled “Bad apples” regarding what the editor considers a major decision of the new Minister of Justice, Lyndon Lewis (NOW) whereas he announced his decisive action to correct justice workers suspensions. In so doing the new Minister of Justice intends to alleviate staff shortages and ensure fair labor practices. This is indeed a major decision and a bold move by the Justice Minister as he is calling the homebound justice officers back to work. The choice of words used by the editor “bad apples” is not correct, as that would give a stain to the many justice officers that are homebound. Some not by their own choice, but because of certain obvious decisions of their superiors. That the proper procedure to address the matter was not followed, is for the account of their superiors and should not be blamed on the so called “bad apples”.   

It is their superiors that for unjustified reasons, personal ego, personal agenda, lack of knowledge and ability and lack of managerial skills, created these situations. There are homebound officers that are on inactive duty for over 5 years and 10 years, while collecting their full salary. This has to end. This situation is an unfair one to any civil servant and/or any other worker and mainly the taxpayer. It is as if the “bad apples” are being awarded with free time and a full salary. There was a situation where one officer did 5 years’ jail time (in Aruba penitentiary (KIA)) while in receipt of its monthly salary. Was that an oversight? By whom all?

The editor cautioned the new Minister of Justice that he should check with the St. Maarten Police Force (KPSM) top, the National Detectives and the Prosecutor Office to ensure his plans don’t derail legitimate ongoing investigation of importance. Really?

  • What investigation on a justice worker and/or a civil servant would take over 5 years and 10 years? 

The rules and regulations on these type of situations are clear and applicable for all justice workers and/or civil servants. If the proper procedures are followed, with the prescribed timeline, there won’t be any situation as what is experienced presently and no fear for any bad apples returning into the proverbial barrel. 

The regulation outlines the process and possible punishment, which can be a fine, a warning, suspension, demotion and termination, which is the worst of all. 

The editor of The Daily Herald has qualified reporters to do investigative reports on the various situations with the officers that are on inactive duty. With all the above mentioned, it clearly proves that there are many “bad apples” in the barrel. 

Kudos to the newly appointed Minister of Justice, Mr. Lyndon Lewis, for taking the bull by its horn, as it would have been considered hypocritical of him, as he has been a victim himself of the unjustified practices of above mentioned superiors. 

We can only wish the new Minister of Justice wisdom in his endeavor and to do what it takes to safeguard the taxpayers from any “bad apples”.

Suzy Down The Road.