Sun | May 26, 2019

McBean back in charge - Police Fed execs ordered to pay legal fees of reinstated chair

Published:Saturday | March 16, 2019 | 12:18 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

A high court judge has ordered police Inspector Sheldon Gordon and Sergeant Patrae Rowe to pay the legal fees for Corporal Arleen McBean out of their own pockets, barring them from accessing funds from the Police Federation to do so.

This following a ruling handed down by Justice Sonia Bertram-Linton, who granted a mandatory injunction for McBean to be immediately reinstated to the post of chairman of the Police Federation in keeping with the period for which she was elected to serve.

McBean’s term as the head of the union for rank-and-file police ends in May.

Might seek re-election

Speaking to The Gleaner shortly after the ruling was handed down, McBean said that she is open to running as president again when her term ends.

“Well, I am doing the work of the members’ cause. I’m an elected representative, so once the members give the indication, which they continue to give, I will definitely obey that indicator,” she said.

Hugh Wildman, who is one of the attorneys representing McBean, said the ruling was as expected.

“There was absolutely no basis for them to have done what they did. It is pure illegality,” said Wildman. “What they did was to usurp power and install themselves to run the federation, and we were able to demonstrate to the court that there was nothing in the legislation, the Constabulary Force Act, to allow for them to do what they did. So it was a pure case of arbitrary conduct on their part,” he added.

McBean is also represented by Queen’s Counsel Valerie Neita-Robertson.

Meanwhile, Rowe, who served as general secretary of the union after McBean was ousted, said the federation respects the court’s ruling but hastened to say that it was not an indictment on the actions of the executive.

“It is instructive to note, however, that having secured an injunction, it’s an interim mandatory injunction, and the court has not determined the merit of our actions in this regard.

The court will hear the substantive matter on May 1.