Open letter to The Honorable Minister of Justice

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Honorable Minister Egbert Jurendy Doran,

It is with great admiration to see the Ministry of Justice, which is the biggest Ministry within our Constitution, to be held by such a young person, but I am sure that you are able to carry the huge burden that this function brings because you have proven already as a young Parliamentarian to be very dynamic. So I am very confident that you will do great also as a Minister.

The challenge you are facing as you embark on this journey is how to prove to the people of Sint Maarten and the rest of the Kingdom that there is no need for Holland to take over the management of your (justice) departments.

Let me start by stating that the abovementioned is also my belief, so DO NOT misconstrue what I will bring forward herein after. But since 10-10-10 the Ministry of Justice has been facing big challenges under the former Ministers of Justice like Mr. Dennis Richardson, Mr. Roland Duncan, Mr. Rafael Boasman, Mr. Edison Kirindongo and Mr. van Hugh de Weever.

Each one of them had their challenges and did operate to their best ability. But a lot of things happen when you don’t know better or because of the lack of being fully and truly informed.
It is for that reason I have decided to provide you with additional information to what you might already know and that the other ministers before you may not have known. Let’s give them the benefit of doubt.

The Council of Law enforcement under its Chairman Mr. Franklin Richards, a former Governor, has been showing what is going wrong by the different departments in their regular reports. All these reports are readily available on their website, so there is nothing to hide. The chosen words in these reports are to maintain its professionalism.

But let’s be real; a director uses certain acts to give intensity to the drama in the movie; you have to dramatize. So, a lot is being said, but the interpretation is being minimized through the use of nice wording in these reports. The gravity of the situations portrayed in the reports lessens.

* What have the former Ministers done with the recommendations expressed in the reports as a solution to the different problems?

*Who oversees that the recommendations are carried out?

* Should the people conclude that the Council of Law Enforcement is not being respected?

Maybe The Council of Law Enforcement should be more aggressive in its existence and in so doing get closer to the community. And with that I mean not solely through the website, but also through the community watchdog, the media houses.

The prison and its problems are very much known to all. There is lack of personnel and training on all levels. The motivation is at its lowest. Availability of the right tools and materials to be able to perform one task is just not there. The sentiments are that it is because the institution does not produce income or revenues for the government, it is being neglected by the ministers.

But you, Minister, know better and so do better. I have to state that Sint Maarten wouldn’t have been in this situation if the plans to build The Justice Park had continued.

Say one say two. But those that are responsible for turning down that plan were too shortsighted.

Now there is a need for a whole new prison. Would it make a difference if the management of the prison is taken over by Holland for 5 years? NO!

The assistance that would be needed would remain the same. So, if Holland is willing to provide assistance, they can do so, but there is no need for a takeover.

The police and Immigration Department with the largest staff within the justice chain should be tackled once and for all. As the corps has too many issues. We all know that the corps suffers from lack of personnel in its different sections of the department, and although class after class are being sworn in, there is still a lack of policemen.

But there seems to be a bad feeling among ‘the men in blue’ because of the favoritism and nepotism exercised by the Chief of Police, Mr. Carl John.

This good gentleman, who seemingly is a very vindictive man, runs the corps as he pleases with no regard or respect for the service rules and regulations. He has a dictatorial attitude. Ministers are being lied to and misled into Mr. John’s desires.

The first question that should be asked to the good gentleman is to provide a list of his personnel, with their ranks and where they are stationed. He should also provide the structure of the corps and which positions are vacant.

If you are not aware, I would like to inform you that there are about 20 policemen that are home for years, not functioning, but collecting their salary. Some of them are willing to work today, but the good gentleman would not permit them to work for whatever reason. I can call some of them by name:

-Mr. Quincy Adamus, who is not working for more than 6 years and is still collecting his salary and does not even live in Sint Maarten;

-Mr. Ashwin Martina, home for years,

-Ms. Virginia Maxwell, home for years,

-Ms. Roumou, not functioning from 2009 and lives in Holland,

-Ms. Thomas, not functioning for years,

-Ms. Bernadette Harrigan, home for over a year and kept out by superiors,

-Mr. Lyndon Lewis, home for years and kept out by superiors,

-Ms. Angelina Henson, not functioning for more than 2 years and lives in Holland.

Some of them were in court and won their case, but are still not able to perform their duties. It is taxpayer’s money who pays these salaries and Mr. Johns. He should give account for these officers that are not functioning, but collecting every month. Who is no good, should be dealt with according to the service rules, but this situation shouldn’t continue forever.

And then there are those that are functioning, but are demotivated because of the favoritism, whereby colleagues in lesser ranks can get promoted and others not. Most of the officers don’t have a ministerial decree for the position they are holding. Consequently, these officers are not receiving their rightful pay and this is affecting their pension. The Human Resource section within the corps can be qualified as non-existent.

There is lack of qualified personnel with the knowledge of the job they are supposed to do. The position of Human Resource Manager is supposed to be vacant, but Mr. John brought in one of his “mistresses,” a Surinamer by the name of Cynthia Hok-Ahin, “to occupy” the chair. Again, one of his doings. He tamed Mr. Mauricia and Mr. Cathalina, both union leaders, by giving them the undeserved rank of Chief Inspector.

He also promised CPO Josepha with the position of Head of Internal Affairs, knowing that
Mr. Josepha needs to be investigated himself for different issues. When Mr. Josepha did not get the promised position, he cried and threw a tantrum and threatened to take the
matter to the courts. Mr. John then offered him the position of Public Relations Officer to keep him quiet. But maybe Mr. John forgot that he already offered this position to his former right hand, Mr. Ricardo Henson’s son, Mr. Hensly Henson, who came from being a security guard at an airline and in less than two years of police service, became an inspector of police, so bypassing all the rest! That’s nepotism!

Only in Sint Maarten the Chief of Police is a member of the A-Team. Is this because of the 2400 guilders extra he receives on his monthly salary? It is a disgrace what is happening to the corps. Mr. John should know that being the Chief of Police is not about showing off the stars on his shoulder, but the pride is when his officers can also show off their ranks, exercise their duties and make him shine. It is clear that Mr. John lacks managerial skills.

He was chosen to be the chief only because in the selection committee there was a female Public Prosecutor, Ms. Karola van Nie, who “favored” him because of “obvious reasons”. How else he could have won over Ms. Denise Jacobs, who comes from the Police Academy and Ms. Martine Visser, who held a supervisory position at the RST, while Mr. John’s basic education is VSBO, and only a few months ago he acquired a certificate in a managerial course? He is the only Chief of Police ever in the history of the Netherlands Antilles to hold this position without attending the police academy.

And why is Ms. van Nie so often on the island so-called giving “lessons” with all costs paid by whom?

Would it make a difference if the management of the police corps is taken over by
Holland for 5 years? YES!

Is there a reason to make such a move? YES!

But is that what we want? NO!

Because we can do better if we tackle the problem the right way by ourselves.

So far, only Minister Roland Duncan had shown to take the bull by the horn, and did not permit to be misled. So, Honorable Minister Doran, I suggest you take that we can handle our own affairs. In Curaçao and in Aruba, many chiefs have been sent home when they lack leadership, and it is time we do the same here. Then there won’t be any need for any takeover by Holland.

The Customs Department is one of the justice department that was doing well, almost perfect, until a year ago, when there was a small incident with the chief Mr. Anthony
Doran, a man with the right qualifications for the position and of integrity. Not knowing
of this good gentleman, the then Minister of Justice Mr. de Weever, took a wrong
decision, which led from one situation to the next, and Mr. Doran ended up being sent
home. Unbelievable that this could happen to a man of his standard. Then others that did worse than a traffic violation should have been sent home long time before him.

Customs Officer Mr. Urvin Sjen Liep Shi, who was caught red-handed looting in Klass
Electronics after Hurricane Irma get promoted while others that are busting their tail
are to wait.

Then the former Minister of Justice ad interim Mr. Perry Geerlings promoted two customs  officers, Mr. Bernadina, an opportunist, from scale 7 to scale 12 and Ms. Nicolas, a “mental person”, from scale 6 to scale 12 in the function of team leader. Both customs officers don’t have the qualifications to hold the assigned positions and are just hungry for position. Being a formal civil servant yourself, you know that jumping from scale 6 to scale 12 is unheard of and surely raised eyebrows. Just doing an evaluation of these two individuals by an independent body, you will get the necessary information on them.

The same Minister also promoted his female cousin, Ms. Naomi Schattevo, to scale 15. This all happened on his last day in office. In his last press briefing to the people of Sint Maarten, Minister Geerlings outlined that for the government to make any payment to the police officers, first there should be a legal basis.

The police officers have been waiting for years.

How come there is a legal basis for these appointments on his last day in office?

How hypocritical! Honorable Minister Doran, these appointments have to be retracted!

As it is totally unfair towards the many other civil servants that have been waiting patiently for a promotion for so long.

Would it make a difference if the management of the Customs Department is taken over by Holland for 5 years? YES!

Is this a reason to make such a move? NO!

Because we can tackle the problem ourselves!

Honorable Minister Doran, you need to hit the ground running, which the people of Sint Maarten believes you will and tackle the many situations to the best of your ability and prove to Holland that there is no need for any takeover of your ministry.

Destine Destiny a.k.a. De De