There are reports that Acting Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is set to announce that he is recusing himself via a press conference today, following a suspected deal with the Police Service Commission (PSC).
The matter stems from an investigation into allegation of corruption into the granting of firearm user’s licences and a probe of Christian Chandler.
According to reports, Griffith sent a letter to the Chair of the PSC Bliss Seepersad and retired Justice Stanley John on Thursday, stating that he fully agreed with, endorsed and intended to action the recommendation that he should recuse himself whilst the investigation is ongoing.
However, Griffith stated that in order to avoid any inference of impropriety and interference, the PSC should “level the playing field” by removing the four other CoP candidates who have direct oversight of the two investigations.
He said the PSC should use the same rationale to ask DCP Erla Christopher, ACPs Wendell Williams, Yusuff Gaffar and Andre Norton to go on leave pending the hearing and determination of the two investigations.
According to Griffith’s letter: “…the rationale and authority given to the PSC for you to conduct such investigations, was based on the premise that the findings can very well play a part in the Merit List on those who were shortlisted for the post of COP.
“Hence, in the same manner to ensure that me, being someone not deemed as being investigated but solely as a candidate and having some possibility of having access to interfere in the investigation, hence me deciding to proceed voluntarily on leave, then there are four other serving officers who are also shortlisted for the post of COP, but actually have more direct operational and influential involvement in the two investigations that you are conducting than myself.
“As alarming as it is, one candidate is an ACP who is actually heading one of the two investigations, so I am surprised and curious as to the rightful possible perception that as COP, whereby I have no involvement in the Chandler investigation, but an ACP who is a candidate, is running this investigation, hence he can report to you padded, skewed or biased information against other candidates and even to cover his own self, but there is no recommendation that he also go on leave, to avoid possible interference. In fact, he is now trying to interview me on this investigation, which cannot be right.”
Griffith added: “Likewise, another ACP has direct involvement in the FIB, so he can direct who can get Production Orders or can divert FIB investigations against some and toward others.”
“There is a third, who is DCP Operations, which gives her full access to all FUL files in the FUL Department as no one is senior to her to prevent it.”
“And finally, the fourth is on record as stating that he intends to use his position when he was in ACIB to have me arrested to prevent me from being appointed as COP.”
“There is no reason to believe that these four Officers would act in an improper manner but in the same manner of concern for me, then why do the other four candidates not have similar possibilities, hence having similar requests for them to be on leave.”
“I humbly request a level playing field and in the same manner that I have decided to do the honourable thing to recuse myself, then I strongly advise that these four other candidates do likewise.”