The days of public workers being automatically dismissed for recording criminal convictions while still employed by Government were abruptly brought to an end.
This is because on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the process was unlawful, following its deliberations in the matter of Wilbert Lynch against the Chief Personnel Officer, the Public Service Commission and the Attorney General.
The matter, which was first lodged in 2012, was finally ruled upon by Justice Shona Griffith nine years later. Griffith said that the court granted a declaration that the dismissal from office was void and had no legal effect.
The court also awarded damages in the form of the claimant’s monthly salary from the date of suspension until last December, which according to Lynch’s attorney, Gregory Nicholls, tallies well over $200 000. However, Lynch would never be able to savour the victory, as he died last December.
Lynch was convicted, reprimanded and discharged for stealing a bottle of rum from a supermarket, but it was not until two years later that he was dismissed from his job in the public service because of this conviction. (CLM)