THREE senior police officers who were arrested and charged for theft last month are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Government of Saint Lucia.
The officers, who met with their attorneys this week, say they are innocent of the allegations against them and are determined to clear their names.
Ted Biscett, Sylvester Joseph and Jerson Charlemagne were arrested and charged with stealing , failure/refusal to deliver money and false attestation.
The officers, all with seniority of years in the Police Force, were suspended from their jobs with half pay.
Biscette was charged with stealing , Joseph for stealing and failure/refusal to deliver money and false attestation and Charlemagne for stealing.
The incident that led to the action being taken against the officers was said to have occurred at the Richfond Police Station, where they were stationed two years ago.
It was Acting Police Commissioner Errol Alexander at a press conference, last month, who supplied details about the alleged theft and the names of the officers he said were involved .
Now, the officers say they are breathing a sigh of relief because it appears that a thorough investigation was done to trace the money that they were accused of stealing and as a result the charges against them now appear baseless.
THE VOICE has been reliably informed that the monies the lawmen are accused of stealing were finally traced to a government department having been sent there in error.
Said one of the three officers yesterday: “We are in the process of filing a lawsuit for wrongful arrest and defamation of character. It was a very embarrassing moment for me and my family when I was arrested and charged.”
“My family stood strong with me. They knew I am not that type of person. They never wavered. They supported me,” he added.
The officers were said to have stolen a sum of money, about EC$5000, belonging to the Government of Saint Lucia.
They were also said to have ignored the professional and organizational guidelines of the police force in the handling of State funds, which are said to be unambiguous.
Said Alexander at the time the officers were arrested: “The unwavering …. position of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force in matters where professional and organizational guidelines are compromised is clear and unambiguous. There is zero tolerance for this level of behaviour. It is unacceptable and inexcusable, period.”
He added that the police department has no reservations or difficulties in allowing the law to take its course in matters like this.
The Acting Police Commissioner likened the arrest of the officers to food for thought for other officers stating that police officers must always subject themselves to the guidelines, procedures, rules and organizational core values which govern them.
“Our actions will always be subjected to review. Again let us all be reminded that we will be held accountable for our actions at the end of the day. That being said let us all keep in mind that we are innocent until proven guilty according to the law of this land,” Alexander said.
He went on to express his satisfaction with the majority of police officers whom he said were upstanding, ethical, disciplined and law abiding servants of the people.
Police have not released too much information on another investigation into three missing firearms and about 28 rounds of ammunition from the Anse-La-Raye Police Station., which occurred last May. They have however confirmed the disappearance of the items when the work shift at the station changed on May 18.