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Ex-Minister Vouches For Dismissed Commissioners’

By VOICE reporter
Image of Former Public Utilities Minister Dr James ‘Jimmy’ Fletcher

FORMER Public Utilities Minister Dr James ‘Jimmy’ Fletcher says he cannot dictate how the dismissed members of the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) should react to their termination. But he maintains that he chose to appoint them because of their “impeachable character.”

Image of Former Public Utilities Minister Dr James ‘Jimmy’ Fletcher
Former Public Utilities Minister Dr James ‘Jimmy’ Fletcher

Members of the NURC were appointed by Dr Fletcher while serving as Public Utilities Minister in the last Labour Party administration (2011-2016), but were terminated in June by current Public Utilities Minister Stephenson King.

King, a former prime minister, cited misconduct in his dismissal letter as the reason for his termination of the entire board.

Since then, some have argued that the minister’s action was not legal and the dismissed com missioners should challenge their termination in court.

But Dr Fletcher won’t go that far. In a statement on the matter issued over the weekend, the former minister would only vouch for the integrity of the persons he appointed.

He said, “As for the NURC commissioners whose appointments were terminated for ‘misconduct’, I cannot tell you how they should react.

“What I will say, however, is that I remain convinced that the men and women whom I appointed to the NURC are of unimpeachable character.”

Addressing the commissioners, he put the ball in their court, saying: “The public record, henceforth, will show that your appointment was terminated because of misconduct and you now have to decide whether this is a record with which you are comfortable.”

Meanwhile, none of the dismissed commissioners has made a public complaint or is known to have challenged the minister’s action.

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