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Saturday, 27 February 2010

The JEP “opinion” and the “facts”

On the 23rd of February 2010 the Jersey Evening Post shared its “opinion” with its readers. Its “opinion” of former DCO Lenny Harper and CPO Graham Power QPM didn’t come across as very high.

But what happens when the “opinion” of a “news”paper isn’t compared against known facts? Well one is left to believe that the “opinion” must be right. On the other hand what happens if the “opinion” is compared against facts? Well the “news”paper knows what it is talking about, so the two (opinion and fact) shouldn’t be that far apart should they? That my dear reader(s) is something for you to decide.


How would it look if ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) produced an initial report concerning “Operation Rectangle” (Historic Child Abuse Enquiry) after assessing the enquiry, conducted by DCO Lenny Harper and his dedicated team, on a strategic level, in February-March 2008, well according to some………. they did!

So let’s have a look at the “opinion” of our only “news”paper and the facts that are available to us thanks to the power of the internet.


It is the “opinion” of the JEP that “There seems to be little, if any, doubt over the two key points. One is that Mr Power’s deputy, Lenny Harper, was not effectively supervised as he pursued with ever increasing public zeal his unsubstantiated suspicions that torture, murder and institutional cover-up had taken place at the former children’s home.”


Let’s take the first point - or “opinion” “ Lenny Harper, was not effectively supervised” now that is according to the JEP. First of all how are they to know DCO Harper was not “effectively supervised”? How can they confidently make such a sweeping statement, or judgement?


When the “facts” are - not only was the entire investigation being mentored by ACPO but DCO Harper, among others had his own personal mentor. I know what you are thinking, why should we believe you an “un-accredited” Citizen Media against “accredited journalists”. To that I will say, “one of us might be a little more informed, or should I say “researched” than the other.”


Just by going with what is already common knowledge, to most “researched” folk ACPO produced a number of reports concerning “Operation Rectangle” (HDLG Enquiry).


In it’s initial report it is claimed that it had this to say about “supervision”


“this is an initial report by the Association of Chief Police Officers Homicide Working Group’s Advice team appointed to mentor and advise Mr Lenny Harper, the Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Rectangle.”

And this - “between the 23rd February 2008 and the 29th February 2008, **** **** mentored and advised Lenny Harper .


So it is fairly safe to say that Lenny Harper and “Operation Rectangle” were pretty well supervised, contrary to the “opinion” of the Jersey Evening Post.


Which brings us to point, or “opinion” number two where the JEP say this “as he pursued with ever increasing public zeal his unsubstantiated suspicions that torture, murder and institutional cover-up had taken place at the former children’s home”

But ACPO are reported as saying (regarding “Media Strategy”) “The SIO (Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper) has, wherever possible, refuted wide suggestions and at appropriate times, refused to confirm sensitive information to minimise sensationalism.”


So here we have two “opinions” from the “accredited” media which are in my opinion, at complete odds with the Association of Chief Police Officers, perhaps ACPO are not “accredited”?


When time, and enthusiasm, permit I shall quote more of the JEP opinion from February 23rd 2010 and in particular according to the JEP “his unsubstantiated suspicions that torture, murder and institutional cover-up had taken place at the former children’s home”………… HIS UNSUBSTANTIATED SUSPICIONS?


You would think you couldn’t make this stuff up, but it looks like somebody is!!


I have now read on Senator Syvret’s Blogsite that he is going to be publishing the ACPO report(s) in there entirety, now that should make for VERY interesting reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Leaving a legacy.

Following yesterday’s, predictable, but extremely disappointing vote on Deputy Bob Hill’s proposition, P9/2010 one has to wonder, what makes the majority of our government tick? What thought process goes through their mind when they read these propositions and decide how they are going to vote? (for those that do actually read them)

For those who don’t read them and just vote how they are told, how are they convinced in to voting that way? What, or who, could have convinced anybody to vote against P9?

This proposition offered all the key players involved in the suspension of Chief Police Officer Graham Power an opportunity to “put the record straight” or in some cases “clear their names” in public. Surely everybody involved would want this……wouldn’t they? So why did the “p9-26” deny this right to these people and the public?

What the “P9-26” can’t be thinking, in my opinion, is that Jersey is going through a very dark period in its history, a period that is going to be looked back on by real “journalists”, Historians, students, teachers, professors lecturers, interested members of the public, and possibly family’s tracing back their family tree, and there’s the rub!

After everything that is now in the public domain involving the very “questionable” suspension of our most senior Police Officer, including the transcripts of his Judicial Review, his sworn affidavit, former Home affairs Minister Andrew Lewis’ response to the affidavit, Chief Officer Power’s dissection of that, the Chief Officer’s letter to the Privileges and Procedures Committee and Constable Juliette Gallichan’s response (without the knowledge of either letter to her committee), the correspondence between Deputy Hill and Chief Minister Le Sueur, the list is just endless……….all in the public domain!!

So what happens? Our government hold a secret meeting and reject a proposition that could bring the truth out and into the public. But because this debate was held in secret, there is no public record that will explain why people voted the way they did.

Unfortunately for those who voted against it, notwithstanding all the evidence that IS in the public domain history might not be very kind to them, or indeed their offspring, or their offspring, and their offspring……………………………..

Our politicians don’t seem to be taking into account the legacy they are leaving for their future family generations. Will they be labelled as “collaborators” in years to come? Only time will tell.

Below are those who voted in favour of an open and transparent public inquiry. On the left hand side of the Blog you will see above the list of the “GST 28” the list of the “P9-26”……………………..For the sake of history, and the next elections!!

POUR:21
Connétable Simon Crowcroft
Connétable Daniel Murphy
Connétable Sylvana Yates
Connétable Len Norman
Connétable Deidre Mezbourian
Deputy Rob Duhamel
Deputy Bob Hill, B.E.M.
Deputy Roy Le Hérissier
Deputy Judy Martin
Deputy Geoff Southern
Deputy Caroline Labey
Deputy Colin Egré
Deputy Paul Le Claire
Deputy Kevin Lewis
Deputy Montford Tadier
Deputy Daniel Wimberley
Deputy Trevor Pitman
Deputy Tracy Vallois
Deputy Mike Higgins
Deputy Debbie De Sousa
Deputy Jeremy Macon

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Andrew Lewis or CPO Graham Power QPM?

There is a saying that goes something like “it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people believe you are an idiot, than it is to open your mouth and confirm it”.


First of all I am not calling either of these two men an idiot, not even a liar, because that, I am quite sure would be libellous.


Below is a statement written by former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis in response to Chief Police Officer Graham Power’s sworn affidavit.


But below that is Chief Police Officer Power’s response to the former Home Affairs Minister. I believe it is fairly safe to say that one of these two gentlemen look way out of their depth and are being somewhat more than economical with the truth.


It might be a slightly lengthy read but for those who take the 10-15 minutes out to read it you will be left with little doubt that somebody’s version of events just do not stack up.


From Andrew Lewis.


Response to P9 and allegations by Graham Power in his recently published Affidavit
 
February 2010
 
Suspension of the States Of Jersey Chief of Police


My knowledge of this matter stems from my role as Home Affairs Minister. As such I am bound by the confidentiality requirements in the Chief Police Officer's disciplinary code.  Although the decision to suspend the Chief of Police was my decision, at all times I sought legal advice and that of HR professionals and took this advice into account.
 
To the best of my knowledge the actual decisions were taken on the dates recorded in the correspondence. The earlier dates of creation simply reflect the preliminary work by the legal and HR advisers, which was contingency preparation in the event that the full disclosure of information by the Deputy Chief Officer might result in a decision to invoke the disciplinary code. This was sensible contingency planning. 


Up until the 11th February I was not aware of Mr Power’s Affidavit despite his claimthat he had sent it to me. Consequently I feel I have no alternative other than to make a brief and measured response to the allegations contained in the document.
 
 
1. I have sympathy for the concerns that Mr Power has for his family but it must be pointed out that the reason that his daughter became aware of his plight whilst driving to work in Australia was because Mr Power, upon leaving the meeting with me and Mr Ogley at Cyril Le Marquand House, went directly to the BBC radio station to make a statement despite being advised not to do so. This story was immediately syndicated across the world.
 
2. Mr Power also suggests that I should have discussed my actions with the previous Minister Senator Wendy Kinnard before carrying them out. In the context of the reasons for his suspension this would have been quite inappropriate as the Minister had handed over responsibility for oversight of the abuse inquiry many months before due a conflict of interest.
 
 
 
3. The act of suspension was fully in line with the disciplinary code and is designed as a neutral act in order to give the Chief Officer sufficient time to defend his position uncompromised by the constraints of office. The code has a clear process of appeal despite Mr Power’s allegations that such provision does not exist.
 
4. Mr Power also claims that the code was rewritten hours before it was invoked, this is quite misleading. The nature of the code was not rewritten it was simply amended for use under the new ministerial government system, which involved replacing the word committee with that of minister. The same has applied to numerous documents right across the States since the inception of ministerial government
 
5. Both Mr Power and Deputy Hill claim that the decision to suspend the Chief of Police was somehow rushed, “done on a whim with little consideration and without seeking advise”. I refute this suggestion most strongly. I had been aware for sometime of concerns about the command and control of the Child Abuse enquiry and in my capacity as Minister had been regularly briefed by the Deputy Chief Officer on the progress of an independent review of the case, being carried out by The Metropolitan Police.
 
6. Mr Power had also been regularly briefed on the progress of the review in even more detail than I. He was also informed that the Deputy Chief Of Police was planning to brief Ministers on the 11thNovember on the findings of the review that were expected to be shocking. Despite this Mr Power decided to go on holiday. I questioned this with him but he claimed that there was nothing in the Met report to be concerned about. Subsequent revelations that are now well documented were of course quite the opposite.
 
7. During my final meeting with Mr Power he was not asked to resign he never has been, it was an action that I did not wish to invoke because it was important that a thorough investigation of the allegations made in the Met review was undertaken before any further action was taken in respect of Mr Power’s position. Hence the suspension was an important neutral act. I am not at liberty to disclose the contents of the Met Report as I am bound by the disciplinary code. However I refute strongly the repeated suggestion by Mr Power that he does not know why he has been suspended, full details of the reasons are contained in the two page letter that was given to him at our meeting with him on the 12th November 2008.
 
8. Mr Power also claims that the notes taken at the meeting on the 12thNovember which were later typed from Mr Ogley’s notes some how differed from Mr Power’s recollection of the meeting. The transcripts of the meeting were forwarded to me for my approval. I can categorically state that they were a true and accurate record of the meeting. Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they did not reflect the meeting.
 
9. I am deeply concerned that the subsequent enquiry into this matter conducted by Wiltshire constabulary has taken so long. I was advised that such an investigation would only take until March 2009. The longer such matters are left the more open they are to wild allegations of conspiracy. Such allegations I most strongly refute. The reasons for suspension were compelling; the process was diligent, professional and painstakingly considered in accordance with the disciplinary code. I took full legal and HR advice from highly competent professionals and followed the prescribed procedure of the day.
 
10. I had on a number of occasions publicly and privately extolled my respect and admiration for Mr Power as competent manager and Chief Police Officer. Which was why I was deeply shocked by the revelations and allegations presented by other competent independent policing authorities concerning Mr Powers command and control of Jerseys biggest ever criminal investigation.
 
11. Such allegations must be and I am led to believe have now been thoroughly investigated. I now look forward to the publication of the Wiltshire Constabulary’s report, which I have fully cooperated with. If further enquires are proved necessary I would fully support and cooperate with such a process.
 
 
 
Andrew Lewis  -  19th February  2010

 
The following statement has been issued by Graham Power QPM.   Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police.   22nd February 2010. 


Since my suspension in November 2008 I have complied with the confidentiality requirements of the disciplinary code. I have however always made it clear that if the code is breached by Ministers, or those acting on their behalf, I would not hesitate to respond.


I have tonight seen the statement issued by the former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis.   In my view his statement constitutes a clear breach of the code and one to which I am entitled to respond. Accordingly I do so in the comments set out below. It may be noted that my comments relate entirely to the statements of Andrew Lewis. I have attempted not to stray into other areas in order to stay within the spirit of the code. I offer this compliance in spite of the totally unfair, unjust and disproportionate manner of my treatment. Andrew Lewis and his associates are assisted by the full wealth and power of the state. I have been refused legal assistance and in consequence I am required to defend myself with only the resources of myself, family and supporters. I do my own research and I type my own letters. I do not have expensive staff, civil servants, or legal advisors supporting my work. I have only the resources of a private individual. Nevertheless, I hope that the following comments will assist in the growing debate relating to the actions of Ministers and others in November 2008.


I do not have the technical capability to insert my comments alongside those of Andrew Lewis.   It may therefore be necessary for the reader to be in possession of the comments of the former Minister while reading my comments. If this causes difficulty I apologise. It is the best I can do with the resources available.


Preamble.


In the introduction to his recent statement Mr Lewis says “at all times I sought legal advice and that of HR professionals and took this advice into account.” In his statement to the disciplinary investigation by Wiltshire Police he says “Up until I received the letter from David WARCUP, I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” (Statement to Wiltshire Police paragraph 3.) In his statement to the disciplinary enquiry, the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers, Bill Ogley states “On 11th November I received a letter from David WARCUP .......... I then wrote to Andrew Lewis that day.” (Statement to Wiltshire Police page 7.) It follows therefore that the evidential statements made by Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley claim that the letter which led to the suspension was received on 11th November 2008, and Mr Lewis states that until he received that letter “I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” On the evening of 11th November Andrew Lewis asked me to attend a meeting the following morning, and I was suspended on the morning of 12th November 2008. It follows therefore that if the statements of both Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley are true the “legal advice and that of HR professionals” must have taken place between 11th and 12th November 2008 which is a tight time frame and hard to reconcile with the claim that this advice was taken “at all times.” What we now know, from separate disclosures obtained in the face of strong opposition from the current Chief Minister, is that the suspension documents were in fact prepared early in the morning of Saturday 8th November 2008, a fact which is hard to reconcile with the previous statements made by Andrew Lewis, presumably with the advice and support of the legal and HR professional experts upon whom he relies. If such experts have in fact assisted Mr Lewis in preparing his statement, then they are inevitably associated with what he has said and done and they may therefore be compromised. This would appear to re-enforce the need for any review of these issues to be fully independent.


The dates on which the suspension documents were created is referred to by Mr Lewis in his recent statement when he says “the earlier dates of creation simply reflect the preliminary work by the legal and HR advisors.” Given that under the Police Law and the Disciplinary Code it is the Minister for Home Affairs and nobody, literally nobody else, who has any jurisdiction whatsoever in relation to the Chief Officer of Police, we are entitled to ask on whose authority the Law Officers Department and “HR advisors” determined that on a Saturday morning in November 2008 it would be appropriate to draft suspension notices for the Chief Officer of the Islands Police Force. In his statement to Wiltshire Police the timeframe given by Mr Lewis indicates that it could not have been him. So who was it? Or is it possible that the truth is not being told?


On a relatively minor point in the preamble Mr Lewis states “Until 11th February (2010) I was not aware of Mr Power’s affidavit despite his claim that he had sent it to me.” Just for the record, no such claim was made. It has been truthfully stated that the affidavit, sworn in January 2009, was sent to the Minister for Home Affairs. This was of course another person by that time. It rather appears that the legal and HR professionals who have apparently assisted Mr Lewis in preparing his release have let him down on this point of detail.


I now turn to the numbered paragraphs in the recent release by Andrew Lewis:


1. In this paragraph Mr Lewis attempts to blame me for the publicity regarding the suspension.   During the suspension interview he made it clear that it had already been decided that he and the then Chief Minister (who had no lawful role in the matter whatsoever) would shortly be giving a press conference, the arrangements for which had been put in place the previous day, presumably in anticipation of the outcome of the suspension meeting on 12th.   It is natural and understandable that in light of this information I should decide to ensure that my side of the story was given comparable coverage.
 
2. Mr Lewis claims that any consultation with the previous Minister would have been a conflict of interest. He misses the point. The relevant period of the historic abuse enquiry was undertaken under the political oversight of another person who is not recorded as having expressed any formal concerns. In his actions of 12th November 2008 Mr Lewis was applying retrospective judgement in respect of actions which occurred prior to him assuming office.   He was, in common parlance, moving the goalposts after the event. His failure to consult with the person who was actually in political office at the relevant time is a breach of the basic principles of fairness.
 
3. Mr Lewis claims that the process he applied was in accordance with the disciplinary code and he appears to imply that it was in some way fair and “neutral.” This claim is made in spite of the strong criticism of his actions by the Royal Court. He does not address this criticism and appears to prefer to pretend that it does not exist. Contrary to his claim, the disciplinary code provides for no appeal against suspension. There is a right of appeal against the findings of a disciplinary hearing. No such hearing has yet occurred and none has been arranged.
 
4. Lewis says “Mr Power also claims that the code was rewritten hours before it was invoked, this is quite misleading.” If this is genuinely misleading then I am quite happy to be led towards the truth. If it was re-written at an earlier time, who did this and who asked for it to be done?   Could it by any chance be the same as yet unidentified person or persons who decided, apparently without any Ministerial authority, to spend a Saturday morning drafting suspension notices for the Chief Officer of Police on the off-chance that the Minister, who according to his statement to Wiltshire Police, “had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well” might suddenly change his mind? Or was it intended that the Minister would have his mind changed for him? Without a proper enquiry we will never know.
 
5. In his recent statement Mr Lewis says “I had been aware for some time of concerns about the command and control of the Child Abuse Enquiry.” In his formal statement to Wiltshire Police he states “Until I received the letter from David WARCUP, (on 11th November 2008 – the day before the suspension) I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” (Paragraph 3.) Is Mr Lewis now admitting that his statement to Wiltshire Police is not true? If it helps, it appears that prior to signing his statement to Wiltshire Police, Mr Lewis signed a declaration which among other things (such as page numbers and the like) states “This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated anything in it which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.” If the signed statement to Wiltshire Police is not true then it is a serious matter. On the face of it, his recent public statement, and the statement to Wiltshire cannot both be true. This is something which may require a more formal investigation. I will return to this issue later.
 
6. Mr Lewis states that I was aware of the planned briefing to Ministers on 11th November 2008. This is just plain untrue. Pure and simple. This was planned and executed without my knowledge. If he claims that I was aware it might be useful for him to state who told me, and when. He then states “Despite this Mr Power chose to go on holiday.” This is almost a total reversal of the truth. Mr Lewis knows, or at least he should know, that my absence was not a “holiday.” I was attending to family welfare issues in the UK which had by that time been postponed for too long due to work commitments. The evidence indicates that far from my absence being some form of abdication of responsibility on my part, it was seized upon in a series of events which bear all of the characteristics of a planned coup d’ état. The first day of my leave was 7th November 2008. By the following morning persons unknown were preparing suspension notices and, on the evening of my return to the island I was told to attend a meeting the following morning.  
 
7. Lewis states that I was not “asked to resign.” All parties agree on at least one thing.   That is that at the start of the meeting I was asked to“consider my position.” I leave it to others to decide what is commonly understood to be meant by this statement. Interestingly Mr Lewis states “I am not at liberty to disclose the contents of the Met Report.” According to his statement to Wiltshire Police he could hardly do so given that he claims “I never saw the Metropolitan Review Document.” (Paragraph 14.) Again, it is hard to reconcile these two statements.
 
8. In his recent statement Lewis refers to the typed notes which are alleged to be a true record of the disciplinary meeting and says “Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they did not reflect the meeting.” In a letter addressed to the Minister dated 1st December 2008 I begin “Dear Minister.” I then go on to list a number of issues. In paragraph 5 and 6 I refer to the alleged typed notes of the meeting and list areas of the notes which I consider to be untrue. On 5th December 2008 I received a reply which had been sent on the Ministers behalf. I have copies of both letters. The recent claim by Lewis that “Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they (the notes) did not reflect the meeting” is a further transparent falsehood and can be shown to be so.
 
9. I am grateful for the comments of Andrew Lewis in this paragraph.   He confirms that he and others were apparently misled as to the duration of the disciplinary enquiry, stating that he was told that it would be concluded by March 2009. It is now of course almost March 2010 and the matter is still outstanding. He does not say who misled him or speculate as to their motives.   He says that he is “deeply concerned” about this issue. His concerns, if authentic, are appreciated. During this time he has of course been getting on with his life. I am the one who has been suspended until such time as there is no possibility of a return to work, and I have therefore effectively been dismissed.  
 
10. In this paragraph Mr Lewis praises my professional virtues.   He then says that he was shocked by the revelations presented by “competent independent policing authorities.”   He does not say who these authorities were. Whoever they were they could not have been the Metropolitan Police whose report he “never saw.” (Witness statement paragraph 14.)
 
11. Mr Lewis states that he will now “look forward to the publication of the Wiltshire Constabulary’s report.” In that respect he may be disappointed, given that Wiltshire have ruled their report to be confidential and stated that their report is exempt from any Freedom of Information laws on a number or grounds, including the claim that any disclosure would be “likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Jersey.”(Confidentiality rules.   Wiltshire report.) I will of course abide by the confidentiality rules imposed by Wiltshire.   Andrew Lewis apparently intends otherwise. In this paragraph Mr Lewis goes on to state that he would fully co-operate with any further enquiries which may be necessary. I am pleased to hear this in view of what I have to say below with regard to this issue.
 
Personal comment. 


Having concluded my comments on the recent release by Andrew Lewis, I now offer the following thoughts: 


Among all of the conflicting accounts and confusion a number of things appear to be evident. 
Nobody appears to dispute that important evidence, in the form of the original record of the suspension meeting was wilfully destroyed.
 
There is evidence that suspension documents which bore the date 12th November 2008 and which claimed to be in response to information received the previous day, were, shall we say, deficient in authenticity.
 
There is an apparent conflict between things said in the legally admissible statement made by Andrew Lewis and the things which he is saying now. There might be an explanation for this, although none is immediately apparent.
 
In these circumstances I believe that there is a compelling case for a full independent investigation with intrusive legal powers, into the actions of Andrew Lewis and others on and around 12th November 2008 and that given the circumstances, a full criminal investigation, by an independent police force, may be appropriate. This is of course a matter for others to decide.   Nevertheless, notwithstanding my effective dismissal from the police service, I remain fully committed to support any enquiry, criminal or otherwise, into the events of November 2008. 

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The “Answers”



Before I get to the “answers” I have received from the Health Minister Deputy Ann Pryke, I will briefly point out the “possible” power of Blogsites and the “possible” unfortunate need for them.

I e-mailed Deputy Pryke on Tuesday the 2nd of February 2010 asking,three questions. Although she sent me a “read receipt” she never replied. I e-mailed her again four days later, once more attempting to get answers to my questions, again I got a “read receipt” but no reply. I e-mailed her for a third time on the 17th of February at 17.26pm some 15 days after the first e-mail.

After leaving it approximately twenty four hours without receiving a read receipt I published the e-mails on this Blog, and do you know what? The very next day I received a reply! It could very well be that this is a coincidence, but I fear not. I believe some, or most, of our elected “representatives” need to be “pressured” into corresponding with their electorate.

I know Blogsites have got their “haters” to those people I would say they are - unfortunately - a necessary evil.

So back to the e-mail(s)

From the very start I was seeking answers to three questions. They were (still are)

1. Are the hospital management team the Verita Report was so critical of still in place?

2. Will she (the Health Minister) be seeking to initiate a criminal investigation into acts or omissions by anybody involved in the tragic avoidable death of a patient?

3. Will she be initiating any type of her own disciplinary enquiry, holding any Civil Servant(s) to account?

Three simple, very pertinent, questions one would believe deserve an immediate response and indeed “ANSWERING”.

Unless I am missing something, after fifteen days, a Blog entry and three e-mails, I can’t see that I’ve got the three “answers” to my three questions!

Perhaps it is the case that I have got the answers but just can’t see it/them. Re-produced below is my original e-mail to the Deputy and her long awaited reply.

Original e-mail.

Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 6:32 PM
Subject: Vote of no confidence.
Deputy Pryke.
Could you please confirm for me, as I could be mistaken, but am I correct in believing, that the management team, who were in place at the time of the avoidable tragic death of Mrs. Rourke, the very same people who were responsible for WRONGLY suspending Dr. Day, the very same people who were strongly criticised by the Verita Report, for poor management skills, were responsible for a culture of fear should an employee attempt to flag up managerial failures or bad practice and many, many more criticisms are still employed at the hospital?
Would you also be so kind as to confirm to me that you have no intentions of either seeking to have a criminal investigation in respect of this mamagement team, or indeed any kind of a disciplinary enquiry put in place?
Kind Regards.


The Deputy’s reply/”answers”?

Dear Mr. ********
Thank you for your emails and apologize for not replying before, as I am hope you will appreciate life has been very busy.
The purpose of the Verita report was to examine the organizational systems and processes in place at the time of the tragic accident. The Verita investigation had no disciplinary remit, the details of the report are being carefully considered, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the position of individual employees. I am not aware of any current criminal investigations
There are 29 recommendations, all of which will be looked at, and will need to be actioned.It is my aim to improve the systems and procedures in place at the Hospital in light of this report. I have asked Verita to return in 6 months time to formally report on progress in implementing the recommendations.
Regards,
Anne Pryke

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Health and Confidence?



How many times have you heard “your politicians are easily accessible, they are on the end of a phone, or you can e-mail them”? In theory this is correct, but in practise it’s not always the case.

A little over two weeks ago I e-mailed the Health Minister Deputy Ann Pryke, and twice since, and have had nothing more than a read receipt in way of a reply.

Below are the e-mails I have sent to the Deputy, and for reasons only known to herself (or her Civil Servants) she (or they) do not appear to be in any kind of a hurry to re-assure the public that she is going to turn this failing health service around, and hold those to account for the failings outlined by the “damming” Verita Report.

If/when I get a reply, I shall publish it.

Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 6:32 PM
Subject: Vote of no confidence.
Deputy Pryke.

Could you please confirm for me, as I could be mistaken, but am I correct in believing, that the management team, who were in place at the time of the avoidable tragic death of Mrs. Rourke, the very same people who were responsible for WRONGLY suspending Dr. Day, the very same people who were strongly criticised by the Verita Report, for poor management skills, were responsible for a culture of fear should an employee attempt to flag up managerial failures or bad practice and many, many more criticisms are still employed at the hospital?
Would you also be so kind as to confirm to me that you have no intentions of either seeking to have a criminal investigation in respect of this mamagement team, or indeed any kind of a disciplinary enquiry put in place?
Kind Regards.

Sent: Saturday, February 06, 2010 8:58 PM
Subject: Fw: Vote of no confidence.
Deputy Pryke.
It has now been four days since you read my e-mail below. Would you please be so kind as to answer the questions in it for me?
Kind Regards.

Sent Wednesday 17/02/10
Deputy Pryke.
It has now been over two weeks since my original e-mail to you and this is the third time I have tried to get some kind of a response.
I really must urge you to reply to my original e-mail by answering the questions in it. Your refusal to do so is not doing anything for my, or others confidence in either yourself as the Health Minister, nor our Hospital management.
Please stop ignoring my e-mails and give myself and the public the answers we deserve.
Kind Regards.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Leadership.

Below is an e-mail sent to Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur.

The e-mail is self explanatory and we very much look forward to his reply.

Senator Le Sueur.

We write to you in your capacity of the head of the States Employment Board and indeed as our leader and Chief Minister.

Following the release of Chief Officer Graham Power's sworn affidavit where he has made some very serious allegations UNDER OATH concerning (among others) the Chief Executive Officer to the Council of Ministers Bill Ogley. We should like to know, (if you haven't already), if you will be suspending (as a neutral act) Mr. Ogley from his post until a full and independent inquiry has been concluded. If you have not, or have no intention of, suspending Mr. Ogley Could you please give us the reasons for this?

If what Chief Officer Power alleges is correct, and one can only assume - as it is an affidavit - it very well might be, then this makes a complete mockery of our democratic process, where politicised Civil Servants can remove democratically elected officials from office.

We hope that you can appreciate the gravity of these allegations and acknowledge that decisive action needs to be taken to restore/maintain trust in our democratic process.

It might well be that the Chief Police Officer has in fact given false testimony in his affidavit and is guilty of Perjury. If this is the case then court proceedings against him should be commenced forthwith.

Whatever the truth is, we would like to see some "leadership" and for you to take the initiative which would be to suspend Mr. Ogley and others named by the Chief Police Officer in his affidavit, while an investigation takes place, or commence court proceedings against the Chief of Police for Perjury. Doing nothing should not be an option and will only serve to undermine your ability to "lead" this island in a decisive manner and add fuel to the fire of cover up, concealment and corruption.

In the interest of open government we shall be publishing this e-mail on one of our Blogsites along with your reply.

Kind Regards.

Team Voice.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Copy of Affidavit of Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM.







Before you read the Chief Officer’s affidavit, we thought it would be beneficial for readers to understand why the Royal Court did not look at - or rule on - the “original” suspension of Chief Officer Power invoked by the previous Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis.





The law on judicial review by the courts positions - a judicial review as a "last resort" option when all other alternatives have been tried and have failed  ...  a court will refuse an application, whatever its merits, where there is an "alternative remedy" available.   In the case of Chief Officer Power the court ruled that the review of the suspension by the current Home Affairs Minister was an "alternative remedy" which effectively cancelled out the original suspension decision.



It could therefore only argue against the "most recent decision" which was the decision of the current Home Affairs Minister, Ian Le Marquand that he was renewing the suspension on his own authority.   He did this through a process lasting a couple of days.  



The court ruled that he (ILM) followed a fair process in reaching his decision.  The court does not pass judgement on whether his decision was the best decision he could have taken, whether it was wise, or whether there was a cheaper alternative.   The court just ruled that he acted within his powers.   It was a decision he was entitled to take in the way that he took it, whatever its merits.  



They held that the review held by ILM in February and March 2009 constituted an "alternative remedy" and so it effectively removed any right of the court to review the first decision.   All that said, the court did an unusual thing.   Having ruled themselves unable pass judgement on the first decision they decided to make comment upon it nevertheless.   They could not formally rule that it was illegal, but they recorded the view that it did not meet the required standards..   The language used by the court is a little obscure, but it might be translated by some, that the judgement was saying that if the first suspension had ever come to court it would have been ruled to be illegal.



IN THE ROYAL COURT OF JERSEY


(Samedi Division)


In the matter of the application of Mr. Graham Power, Q.P.M., Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police (hereinafter called “the Applicant”) for leave to apply for judicial review of the decision of the Minister for Home Affairs to suspend the Applicant from office.

1. I, Graham Power, Q.P.M., (address) make oath and say that the contents of this my affidavit are true to the best of my knowledge information and belief.

I am the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police. I am currently suspended from duty and seek leave to apply to the court for a review of my suspension. My feelings of grievance in this matter are summarised as follows:



· The suspension is an unjustified and unwarranted scar on the latter stages of a long and occasionally distinguished career. I would like to see that scar removed.



· In my suspension a disturbing precedent has been set which I believe needs to be challenged in the public interest. If it remains unchallenged there are potentially serious consequences for the independence and integrity of law enforcement in the island and an additional risk that future police actions will be subject to inappropriate political pressure and intimidation.



2. My professional background is that I have 42 years police service and have served in the senior ranks of four police forces. Prior to my current appointment I was Deputy to H.M. Chief Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland. I have been decorated by the Queen for distinguished service. My contract as head of the islands police has been extended twice, the most recent extension being in 2007 following as assessment of my performance in post. Successive reports by H.M. Inspectorate of Constabulary have described the force under my leadership as a progressive and high performing organisation with a well motivated workforce. I have been vetted by the relevant U.K. authorities to “top secret” level and have access to security material of extreme sensitivity. In addition to my local duties, I sit on a U.K. committee which addresses sensitive policy issues relating to security matters and I am an assessor for the body which selects potential Chief Officers for U.K. police forces.



3. During my period in office, crime levels have repeatedly fallen and public satisfaction surveys show confidence ratings which are exceptionally high by any recognised standard. I am in possession of letters and reports from political leaders and others which praise me professionalism and commitment. I am physically fit and regularly perform front line operational duties in the island, including nightshifts at weekends. There is no history whatsoever of poor performance or public confidence issues relating to my command preceding the events described in this application. Indeed, all of the recorded evidence points to outstanding performance in the discharge of my duties. Independent evidence to confirm this picture can be produced should any of it be disputed. Since my suspension I have received many messages of encouragement. I am regularly stopped in the street by complete strangers who want to express their support for me and their condemnation of what has occurred. I am one of a handful of the most senior appointed public figures in Jersey. My suspension is seen by many as an event of major significance with far reaching implications. It cannot be described by any fair means as a neutral act. My suspension made world news. My daughter heard of it while listening to her car radio in Australia. The damage to my professional standing and reputation has been considerable. I will now attempt to explain briefly the legal and constitutional background to my position and how it may have affected events.



4. As Chief of Police I am directly accountable to the Minister for Home Affairs on a day to day basis. This was not always the case. Prior to the relatively recent introduction of Ministerial Government I was accountable to the Home Affairs Committee. While this arrangement was far from perfect, the inevitable differences of view and political perspective within the Committee, or even the requirement for the Committee to arrange meetings as a corporate body, created a loose system of checks and balances which presented a barrier to arbitrary action by the Committee President. This arrangement changed on the introduction of Ministerial Government. The Minister for Home Affairs now has sole initial decision making responsibility in respect of any disciplinary issues and can act without any obligation to consult with political colleagues or any other person. As illustrated in my case, this power also has some potential for retrospective use. In this instance a Minister has initiated suspension and disciplinary proceedings in respect of matters which occurred during the tenure of the previous Minister, and has done so apparently without consulting with the previous Minister and in the probable knowledge that the Minister in power when the alleged acts or omissions took place would have taken a different view. This has now been continued by a third Minister.



5. Police Officers of less senior ranks have the protection of the Police (Complaints and Discipline) (Jersey) Law 1999 and the Police (Complaints and Discipline Procedure) (Jersey) order 2000 both of which are held to be compliant with the islands human rights obligations. The interpretation section of the order specifies that it shall not apply to the Chief Officer, and unlike other jurisdictions, Ministers have not created a corresponding set of “Senior Officer Disciplinary Regulations” or similar legislation to provide comparable process and protections for more senior ranks. The document used to justify the suspension was the non-statutory Disciplinary Code for the Chief Officer of Police (appendix “A”.) This document was apparently produced within the hours preceding my suspension and is based on an earlier code approved by the former Home Affairs Committee some time in the years before my appointment in 2000. On the face of it the changes from the earlier code consist entirely of a translation into the language of Ministerial Government. However, a practical effect of these changes is that the decision-making responsibility moves from a corporate body to a single individual, namely the Minister, with no obligation to consult with any other party. In that respect this is a significant change. The original code was produced before the adoption of the Human Rights Law and has not been amended in consequence of that law. No claim is made by the Minister that the translation from the old code to the new code was accompanied by any form of consultation or human rights audit. The code contains no statutory protections, and no provisions for appeal or review in the event of suspension. As events have shown is it capable of creative interpretation by a minister who is so minded.



6. I am therefore now in a situation in which a Minister, on his own individual authority, is seeking disciplinary action against the Chief Officer in respect of matters which took place under the political oversight of the Minister before last, using a code written just hours before the event and based on a document produced in a previous political era with none of statutory provisions and protections afforded the more junior officers.



7. The Jersey legal system does not have a position equivalent to a Procurator Fiscal or an Investigating Judge or Magistrate. For all but a fraction of cases the police service, under the command of its Chief Officer, is the single point of entry for cases into the Criminal Justice System. A court may wish to consider whether, in those circumstances, such close individual political control of the leadership of the force provides for the independence of justice, and is consistent with the principles of Human Rights.





8. In 1996 a committee appointed by the States under the Chairmanship of Sir Cecil Clothier published a report which recommended the establishment of a Police Authority for Jersey. In the twelve years which have followed nothing of substance has been delivered by those in government. Other small jurisdictions have recognised the need to preserve the independence of policing and a number of measures have either been put in place or are under active consideration. For example in Gibraltar there is a Police Authority charged with maintaining the independence of policing and in Guernsey there are draft proposals for the establishment of an Independent Law Enforcement Commission. While these developments have been taking place elsewhere, the movement in Jersey has been in the opposite direction with the removal of the committee structure and a focus on a direct line of accountability to a single politician. It is my contention that this places the Chief Officer of Police at a structural disadvantage in any situation in which the proper requirements of law enforcement and the interests of political expediency collide and is contrary to the principles of Human Rights and Good Governance. This is particularly the case when a new Minister takes a different view from that taken by his or her predecessor.



9. In spite of this background I have attempted to ensure that at all times the force operates “without fear or favour” particularly when investigating matters affecting the interests of politicians, other senior figures, their families and associates. Such investigations are not rare. It is customary for at least one such enquiry to be live at any one time. I cannot remember the last time when the force did not have at least one enquiry of that nature. In an environment in which Ministers and others are accustomed to a more direct control over public services I have found it necessary to make the point that the police are not a department of government, and to assert the independence of the force from direct political control. Ideally these assertions should be founded on some established and widely accepted principles of law and good practice. In the current circumstances they have more often been founded on the determination and strength of personality of the Chief Officer and the former Deputy Chief Officer. No Chief Officer of Police should be required to operate under such arrangements.





10. The events which gave rise to this application did not begin with the suspension meeting on 12th November 2008. Their roots lay in a series of events associated with the historic abuse enquiry. This enquiry, known as “Operation Rectangle” began over a year before it became publicly known and long before the crime scene work at Haute De La Garenne. The investigation took place against a background of widespread rumor, speculation and political controversy. The establishments which the police were investigating were owned and run by the States of Jersey, and for which members of the Council of Ministers had political responsibility. In the early stages a significant number of people were named as “suspects”, either of abuse or of covering up abuse in a way which may have constituted a perversion of the course of justice. Although the suspect list was later refined as the evidential picture became clearer it was extensive in the early stages and, significantly, included a number of people who, currently or recently, held positions of seniority or influence in public services. This provided further grounds for tension and prevented the adoption of a partnership working model common elsewhere for enquiries of this nature. Maintaining the independence of police operations, difficult enough in ordinary times under the accountability arrangements described above, became a full time challenge as the enquiry unfolded.



11. Against this background there followed a series of events and confrontations in which the leadership of the force became isolated from an inner group of politicians and civil servants loyal to the then Chief Minister and hostile to the independent line taken by the police. By way of illustration I will give examples of three events which typify this developing state of affairs.





12. In July 2007 a case came to public notice following a Serious Case Review (S.C.R.) carried out by an independent person appointed by the States. The review concerned the completed criminal case of a (removed for anonymity)who had been subject of sexual abuse by two local men. The matter had been investigated by the police and the two men were convicted. Following the circulation of the review report the then Health Minister, Senator Stuart Syvret, was critical of the depth of the report and asked a number of questions of all of the agencies involved, including the police. I agreed with the Health Ministers assessment of the report. I thought that it avoided some of the more difficult questions and lacked challenge. I did not think that the Ministers criticism of the police was well founded but I arranged for him to be provided with a full reply in response to whatever he asked. I did not see this as a particularly unusual thing to do. In any healthy environment it is open to politicians to challenge the heads of public services and only right that they should get a full reply. As I see it that is how the system is supposed to work. I had assumed that others would dee things the same way. On the afternoon of Wednesday 25th July 2007 I discovered that this was not the case. I attended a meeting of the Corporate Management Board (C.M.B.) This is a body which brings together the heads of the islands public services to discuss policy issues and provide collective advice to Ministers.



13. T he feeling in the room was tense and there was general talk about the questions asked by the Health Minister and the need for some sort of action in response. I had the feeling that “something was going on” to which I was not a party. After the meeting the Chief Executive, Bill Ogley, asked me to stay behind. Also remaining were the head of States H.R., Ian Crich, the Chief Officer of Health, Mike Pollard and the then Chief Officer of Education, (Tom McKeon who has since retired.) The Chief Executive said that it was anticipated that the Council of Ministers would tomorrow be asked by the then Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Health Minister and that this could result in his removal from office. I was then told of measures that had apparently been put in place to facilitate this. I was told that the islands Child Protection Committee (C.P.C.) was due to meet at the same time as we were meeting and that arrangements had been made for it to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Minister. It was then suggested that as the heads of the relevant public services we should do something similar and that this would give support to the proposal that the Chief Minister would bring forward the next day.



14. I was shocked by this and initially did not know what to say. I eventually made two points. Firstly I said that the Minister was entitled to ask difficult questions. As I saw things that was his role and it was our role to provide a response, and secondly, even if that was not agreed, what was being proposed was civil servant and police engagement in political activity. I stated clearly that I did not see that as acceptable and that I would have nothing to do with it. At this point the Chief Executive asked me to leave the meeting which I did. I then made contact with a police colleague who had been at the C.PC. and discovered that this colleague had also had left their meeting for similar reasons. Shortly afterwards we both made brief notes in relation to what had happened. This was my first noteworthy experience of the formation of an “inner circle” of politicised senior civil servants loyal to the Chief Minister. The Chief Executive and the head of H.R. subsequently played a significant role in my suspension.



15. Further indications of an gulf between the Chief Minister and his associates, on one hand, and the force, supported by the then Home Affairs Minister, Senator Wendy Kinnard, on the other, emerged the day on which it was decided that Senator Kinnard was no longer able to maintain political oversight of the Historic Abuse Enquiry. This was because a few days previously she had made a witness statement which created a conflict of interest. At the time of writing I do not have access to my diary and notebooks and cannot be sure of the exact date. A meeting was arranged to discuss how this would be managed. The meeting was attended by me, Senator Kinnard, The Chief Executive and the then Chief Minister. The Chief Minister entered the room and immediately began a verbal attack on the historic abuse enquiry claiming that it was causing damaging publicity for the island. Senator Kinnard, who was the Minister to whom I was actually accountable, attempted to defend the enquiry but she was effectively shouted down.



16. I knew that the views being expressed by the Chief Minister were not the views of the Home Affairs Minister. She had been regularly briefed on the enquiry by members of the force and by senior advisors appointed by the Association of Chief Police Officers and had expressed her strong support for the conduct of the investigation. The Chief Minister said that he was “under pressure to suspend both the Chief and the Deputy Chief”. He did not say where the pressure was coming from but he said this in a way which gave the impression that he was not hostile to that pressure. The heat of the exchanges rose and the Chief Minister spoke to Senator Kinnard in a way which I found offensive and I saw that she was clearly becoming upset. She was the only woman present and I was her only friend in the room. I intervened forcefully and told the Chief Minister that from my management experience, I considered that he was behaving in a way which, in a workplace, could be classed as bullying and lead to a claim or constructive dismissal.



17. After a while things calmed down and the options for re-allocating Ministerial responsibility for the enquiry were discussed. I later learned that Deputy Andrew Lewis, who was the Assistant Home Affairs Minister, had been asked to take the Ministerial lead in respect of the enquiry. (On a later date, when Senator Kinnard resigned as Minister, Deputy Lewis was briefly appointed as Minister for a few weeks before he left politics.) I left the meeting in no doubt that the then Chief Minister was actively seeking a justification to use the power of suspension in a punitive way against either myself or the then Deputy Chief Officer or both. At no stage did he mention any substantive allegations which might justify suspension. He gave the impression of regarding suspension as a weapon in itself. The Chief Executive, who was present throughout, played a significant role in my suspension, and during the suspension meeting the Chief Minister was in the next room. The Chief Minister presided alongside the new Minister for Home Affairs (Deputy Lewis) at the press briefing at which my suspension was announced.



18. Since my suspension a member of the States who is otherwise unconnected to any of these events, has come forward and offered evidence. The States member speaks of overhearing a conversation in the corridors of the State building between the then Chief Minister and Deputy Lewis. This discussion appears to have occurred in the weeks following the meeting mentioned above. During that discussion the possibility of suspending or dismissing the Deputy Chief Officer was being actively discussed. It might be useful to add at this stage that if Minister had taken legal advice concerning their suspension powers in relation to police officers (which they presumably have at some stage) they would have been told that in an apparently unintended consequence of the way that the law is drafted, they have no powers whatsoever in relation to the Deputy Chief Officer. That authority rests entirely with the Chief Officer. If suspension is on their mind then the only target within their range is the Chief Officer. There is nobody else that they are able to suspend.



19. The third example I have chosen relates to a Strategic Planning Workshop held at the St Pauls Centre on Friday 24th October 2008. The Workshop was attended by a number of senior public servants including myself and the Chief Executive. At the commencement of the workshop the Chief Executive asked for silence and said that he had an announcement to make. He named a senior civil servant who was present. The person named is a suspect in the abuse investigation but has not been suspended. The Chief Executive said that the suspect had his total support and that “if anyone wants to get…….(the suspect)…….they would have to get me first”. This announcement was applauded by some but not all of the persons present. I took it as a further indication of the “in crowd” closing ranks against the “threat” of the abuse enquiry. The Chief Executive later played a significant role in my suspension.



20. I now turn to the events more directly related to my suspension on Wednesday 12th November 2008. There was no long “run up” to what occurred. It was all very quick and unexpected. On the evening on Tuesday 11th November 2008 I was on holiday having returned from the U.K. earlier that day. I was unexpectedly telephoned at home by the then Home Affairs Minister, Deputy Andrew Lewis. Given the nature of my professional responsibilities telephone calls during leave and other “off duty” periods are not uncommon, although it was unusual to be contacted by a Minister. The Minister sounded anxious. He told me that he wished to see me in the office of the Chief Executive at 11 a.m. the following day. He said that the meeting was to discuss the content of a presentation and meeting which had taken place that evening, attended by himself other Ministers and the new Deputy Chief Officer. He said that those present at the meeting had seen reports and documents relating to the Historic Abuse Enquiry. I was surprised by this. I did not know that such a meeting had been planned and if I had known I would have attended. In a telephone conversation with the Deputy Chief Officer a few days previously we had discussed forthcoming events and I had been told that there would be a press conference on the historic abuse enquiry on Wednesday 12th November but no mention had been made of any briefing to the Ministers on the evening of 11th.



21. I attended the following morning as requested and was asked to wait in the area outside of the Chief Executives office. I had been there for a few minutes when I sensed a movement and on looking up I saw the Chief Minister apparently leaving the Chief Executives office and return to his own office which was next door. I then saw the Head OF Human Resources, who seemed “flustered” enter the Chief Executives office carrying papers, and leave shortly afterwards. I noted at this stage the time was 11-10a.m. but I did not think to note any times thereafter. Shortly afterwards I was invited into the Chief Executives office. He and Deputy Lewis were seated together and I was invited to sit opposite. They were in possession of documents. It later emerged that these documents were as follows:



21.1. A copy of the disciplinary code for the Chief Officer of Police which I attach at Appendix “a”



21.2. A letter headed “Disciplinary Code” which was addressed to me. Appendix “b”



21.3. A letter headed “Suspension from Duty” which was also addressed to me. Appendix “C”



21.4. Also, two days later I received through the post a copy of a letter headed “Disciplinary Code” signed by the Minister and addressed to the Chief Executive. I attach this at Appendix “D”.



22. The Minister read out to me some of the content of the letter at “B” and showed it to me. This was the first indication that I had been given that the meeting was of a disciplinary nature. I had been given no notice, no time to prepare, and was not offered any representation. The Chief Executive said that in view of the content of the letter I would be allowed up to one hour to “consider my position.” With hindsight I recognise that the Chief Executive may have chosen his words carefully. However, at the time neither myself, nor I believe anyone else in the room, had any doubt that this was an invitation to resign. I treated it as such and said that I was rejecting the opportunity and denied any wrong-doing. I also protested at the unfairness of what was happening, the fact that I had not seen the documents to which the letter referred, and had been given no chance to offer representations or a respond to their content. These comments were noted but nothing was done.



23. It was at around this point that I became aware that the Chief Executive was taking handwritten notes. These appeared to be detailed and I saw him turn an A4 or similar sized page at least once. At one point I slowed down what I was saying in order that he could capture the words. The Minister then said that he had decided to suspend me with immediate effect and I was handed the letter “C.” This was the first indication I had been given that suspension was a possibility. Suspension had not been discussed until seconds before it was actually invoked. A short conversation followed during which I made representations on the manner of any enquiry and for “equality of arms” by means of legal representation. It was during these exchanges that further information emerged from the Minister, who made a number of unscripted comments which continued in spite of interruptions and other attempts by the Chief Executive to get him to be quiet. It was stated by the Minister that the press briefing to announce my suspension had already been arranged for that afternoon, and that Ministers had already agreed “lines to take” on such matters as confidentiality during any enquiry and that it would be claimed that the suspension was a “neutral act”.



24. The Minister then appeared to have an attack of guilt. He told me that he had always admired my commitment and professionalism and that he regarded me as an outstanding Chief Officer. He offered me his best wishes and sincere hopes that I would be successful in defending myself against these allegations. He did not seem to see any contradiction between what he was saying and his actions of a few minutes previously. It was on this surreal note that the meeting ended. According to my recollection it all happened very quickly although I did not think to note the time. It was subsequently said on behalf of the Minister that the meeting lasted less than 35 minutes but how much less was not stated. (The Ministers account of the meeting will be referred to again in this application and is set out in Appendix “h” to follow)



25. I have subsequently had an opportunity to study the documents provided to me in more detail. Based on the documents I have been given, and my long experience in operating similar procedures from a management perspective, I offer the following observations. The letter from the Minister to the Chief Executive (Appendix “D”) requires the Chief Executive to “conduct a preliminary investigation under paragraph 2 of the discipline code” Paragraph 2 of the code describes the process for a preliminary investigation. The Chief Executive is required to establish the “relevant facts” These will include “statements from the available witnesses and the Chief Officer.” Paragraph 2.3 of the code is headed “continued or serious breach of discipline/poor performance/capability.” It begins in paragraph 2.3.1. by stating “if the preliminary investigation indicates that a more serious breach of discipline … has occurred … the issue will be considered by the Home Affairs Minister.” Paragraph 2.3.2. describes how a hearing in consequence of paragraph 2.3.1. will be established. Paragraph 2.3.3. states “In more serious circumstances the Chief Officer may be suspended from duty…pending the outcome of this procedure.” I submit that there can be no reasonable doubt that the Discipline Code for the Chief Officer of Police creates a legitimate expectation that the suspension will be preceded by a period of preliminary investigation, assessment of evidence, a right of response, and an appropriate level of consideration and reflection. I submit that this is not only an expectation created by the code but a requirement of fair play and natural justice. No such entitlements were provided in my case.



26. As I understand it, the Minister may attempt to argue that he was entitled to conclude, without any preliminary investigation, that “more serious circumstances” had arisen and that he was thereby entitled to suspend without any preliminary process. It is agreed that the circumstances could conceivably arise in which the procedure may need to be condensed. For example the Chief Officer being arrested while committing a crime might be one such circumstance which could possibly justify a shortening of the expected process, although even in those circumstances some form of preliminary consideration and representation might be appropriate. In such an event it would be for the Minister to record and justify why such extreme action had been taken. “more serious circumstances” should not be used as a “get out clause” Which allows the Minister to by-pass the legitimate expectations of process created by the code, and act without warning, without offering representation and without providing a fair opportunity of response. In this paragraph, and some to follow, I have argued that the Minister has not complied with his obligations under the disciplinary code for the Chief Officer of Police. I would nevertheless ask that all of these comments be viewed in context of paragraphs 5 to 7 of this application which raise questions regarding the appropriateness and Human Rights compliance of the code itself.



27. I will now set out some of the reasons why I consider that it would have been fair and reasonable for the Minister to consider the issues before him at greater length and in accordance with the prescribed procedure, and hoe he has failed to take into account matters which it was his duty to consider. In some cases I have asked the Minister to provide further information relevant to this application. At the time of writing this has not been provided. I do however have copies of the original letters from the suspension meeting which form part of the appendices and I have since received the proposed terms of reference for the Investigating Officer. These are attached at Appendix “E”. The reasons which, in my submission, provide grounds for overturning the decision of the Minister in addition to those already stated include the following:



27.1. So far as is known, whatever is alleged (and over six weeks after the event I have still not been shown the documents containing the allegations which gave rise to my suspension) relates to management processes and structures in the early part of the investigation. I understand that nothing relates to the current management of the force and that there is support for the management structures which I have either put in place personally, or have been put in place by others acting on my instructions.



27.2. On the 12th November 2008 I was part way through a holiday, was not in command of the force, and did not intend to return to work for several days. There was ample time to apply proper process and to allow representations.



27.3. The Minister appears to have placed high emphasis on reports to the effect that the early part of the investigation was not conducted in accordance with the multi-agency model more common in such investigations. He has failed to take into account the strong impediments to partnership working set out in paragraph 10 of this application.



27.4. In seeking to determine my culpability the Minister appears to be relying on an assessment of compliance with policing guidelines which apply in much of (but not all of) the U.K. He has failed to address the question of whether he or his predecessors have ever approved the application of those guidelines to this jurisdiction.



27.5. The Minister places heavy reliance on a document which purports to set out the interim findings of a review by the “Metropolitan Police” into the early staged of the investigation. This review was carried out on my authority. He does not appear to have taken into account that the actual authors of the report are understood to be one police officer, who. In the context of these allegations, is of relatively junior rank, and one civilian assistant. It is believed that neither has ever exercised strategic oversight of a major crime enquiry from the rank of Chief Officer or equivalent. (At the time of writing more details relating to this have been requested and are awaited.)



27.6. The Minister has failed to take into account the reports and verbal briefings provided to him and others during the relevant stages of the enquiry by a team of senior expert advisors appointed by the Association of Chief Police Officers.



27.7. He has failed to take into account the prompt and full response of the force to all of the issues raised during the process described at 27.6 above and the fact that at no stage did he or any other political representative express any dissatisfaction in the consequence of the high level briefings given by the senior A.C.P.O. team.



27.8. He has failed to take into account the fact that the senior A.C.P.O. advisors referred to above were internationally recognised for their expertise and were led by a person with many years experience in the strategic oversight of major crime enquiries from a rank equivalent to that of Chief Officer.



27.9. So far as is known he failed to give due weight to the fact that none of the alleged events took places during his tenure as Minister and he failed to take reasonable steps to establish whether the person who was Minister at the time had any views on the matter.



27.10. The Minister failed to take into proper account the fact that prior to his retirement the former Deputy Chief Officer was awarded a certificate of commendation by the previous Minister for outstanding leadership and media management in the investigation. The Minister has failed to reconcile this award with the retrospective view of events which he has now chosen to take.



27.11. The Minister has failed to take into account the frequently expressed wishes of political leaders and others that the policing of the island should be developed along the principles of local solutions to local issues and that the creation of excessive bureaucracy, processes, and management structures should be avoided. In seeking to hold the Chief Officer to account for allegedly failing to comply with U.K. policing guidelines the impact of such a precedent on the wider agenda of protecting the independence of law enforcement in Jersey has not been given due weight.



27.12. The Minister has failed to take proper account of the 2008 report by H.M. Inspectorate of Constabulary which states “At the time of the Inspection the force was investigating a series of criminal allegations relating to a children’s home spanning a number of decades. In addition to committing substantial local resources, the force sought and was receiving specialist operational assistance from forces on the U.K. mainland to allow the force to effectively investigate these allegations whilst maintaining core business. The investigation was being led by the deputy chief officer and was of a very high profile.” The Inspectorate made no critical comment concerning this arrangement.



27.13. The Minister has failed to fully address the question of whether, against all of the background, and the known performance of the force under my leadership, the action taken was a necessary and proportionate measure.



27.14. The suspension occurred on 12th November 2008 and on 2nd December the Minister made a report to the States. In that statement, and in subsequent exchanges, he makes no claim to have sought any further information, or considered ant representations since the original suspension. He refused to provide members with a copy of the Disciplinary Code under which he had acted. By his actions the Minister prevented members from engaging in proper scrutiny of what had occurred and has sought to defeat the apparent intention of the law that, although initially accountable to the Minister, the Chief Officer is ultimately accountable to the States as a whole.



28. While guidelines approved by the U.K. H OME Office do not have a direct application to Jersey, they can sometimes provide background information as to what is seen as appropriate elsewhere. For this purpose I attach at Appendix “F” a copy of the current guidelines which are applicable in most of the U.K. It can be seen from the document that suspension is positioned as part of an incremental process, usually associated with a history of poor performance and public concerns. The procedure of addressing these issues typically involves a partnership between the Home Secretary, The Inspectorate, and the Police Authority. Suspension may be invoked when the relevant parties have concluded that a point has been reached in which a requirement to resign or dismissal is appropriate and there are significant public concerns. The guidelines state “suspension is a grave matter and the authority or the secretary of State will need to make a judgement about whether suspension would enhance or diminish public confidence. While it is accepted that these guildelines are of marginal relevance to my case, they nevertheless give some support to a legitimate expectation that the suspension of the head of a police service will be seen as a last-resort option, preceded by careful consideration ans assessment involving a number of parties. It should also be noted that under U.K. guidelines any suspension needs to be subject to a monthly review.



29. I now turn to some associated issues which may be seen as undermining any argument by the Minister that some form of due process or proper consideration was applied in my case. The first concerns the text of the letter of suspension which is at Appendix “C”. This letter was handed to me at the conclusion of my discipline meeting. I had received no prior warning of this possibility. The final paragraph of page 1 states “At our meeting earlier today, I informed you that I was considering whether you should be suspended from duty. I now write to inform you that I have decided, in accordance with the terms of the Police Force (Jersey) Law, 1974, to suspend you from duty, on full pay, pending the outcome of the investigation and any subsequent hearings.” I do not believe that it is disputed that there was no meeting “earlier today.” I have challenged this and other aspects of the process and received a letter sent on behalf of the Minister dated 19th November 2008 which I attach at Appendix “G”. The letter refers to the discipline meeting on 12th November 2008 and makes the following claim. “the Minister, having outlined his concerns about the command and control structures in place as regards the Historic Abuse Enquiry and your role within that, informed you that he was minded to invoke the disciplinary code and suspend you. You were offered a period of time (up to an hour) to consider matters and you were offered unsigned copies of the letters it was intended to give you should the process be subsequently activated. The purpose of this was for you to have access to the matters that would be subject of possible investigation and to give you the opportunity to consider those and comment back to the Minister before any decision to commence the process was taken.



30. Taken as a whole this statement is almost entirely untrue. Firstly it seeks to explain the offer of up to an hour to “consider my position” as not an offer to resign but an opportunity to have “access to the matters that would be subject of investigation.” Given that both the discipline letter and the suspension letter make it clear that these “matters” are set out in documents which, over six weeks later, I have still not been shown, and relate to an enquiry which had been running for around two years, I suggested that this claim is transparently false, as is any suggestion that a period of up to one hour, with no notice and no representation, constituted anything approaching a fair opportunity for to make a reasonable submission. If this is doubted then I refer to the initial comments of the Chief Constable of Wiltshire who has been appointed Investigating Officer into the allegations made by the Minister. In seeking to agree the initial process for the enquiry he states in a letter dated 11th December 2008 that “Based on what I know now, I do envisage that relevant inquiries will probably take a number of months to complete.” Even if a period of “up to an hour” had been offered to comment upon the allegations (which it was not) then it could not be seen as fair in the circumstances.



31. Also relevant to the conduct of the Minister is his claim in the letter that the possibility of suspension was mentioned at the beginning of the meeting, and that he informed me that he was “minded.” To suspend me. On reading his letter, I saw this as an attempt on his part to handle the issue of the reference in the suspension letter to the meeting “earlier today.” I anticipated that this may be the beginning of an attempt to argue that the meeting in some way had two parts and that some form of consideration took place in the middle. This might be somewhat implausible in a meeting which, by the Ministers own account lasted less than 35 minutes and by my recollection was rushed and quickly concluded. However, this position changed a few days later when, on 29th November 2008 I received a typed document signed by the Minister. (Appendix “H”) This purported to be a record of the disciplinary meeting. This at least makes it clear that no mention of suspension was made until the Minister handed me the suspension letter thereby putting the process into effect. I wrote and challenged the typed record of the meeting on the basis that it claimed things which were not true and omitted things which were in my favour. In order to clarify matters I asked for a true copy of the handwritten record made by the Chief Executive during the meeting.



32. On 5th December 2008 I received a further letter on behalf of the Minister (Appendix “I”). This informed me that the original notes of the meeting had been destroyed. It is my belief that, in the sequence of events, this destruction took place at a time when the Minister and his civil servants were on clear notice that I was preparing a legal challenge to my suspension, and may have been done because the notes contained evidence which was in my favour. I have made a separate formal complaint in respect of this.



33. Taking all of the evidence into account I consider that I am entitled to believe that the decision to suspend me was in fact taken by the Chief Minister and the Home Affairs Minister, probably in collusion with others, on the evening of Tuesday 11th November 2008. Civil Servants were then tasked with producing paperwork and a procedure for use the following morning. This was done with the intention of creating an impression that some form of due process and consideration had taken place. This latter task was however performed in a rush with the consequence that mistakes in procedure and the attempted deceptions are evident.



34. On 3rd December 2008 I received a copy of the proposed terms of reference for the Investigating Officer in respect of the allegations against me (Appendix “E”). The Investigation has been given the title of “Operation Haven” and is headed by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire. The Investigating Officer has since made it clear that he does not regard matters relating to my suspension as falling within his remit and consequently he will make no enquiries in respect of what occurred. On my reading, the terms of reference invite an investigation into the extent of my compliance with guidelines applicable to police services in England and Wales. No evidence is offered as to why these guidelines should be deemed to be applicable to Jersey I have made separate representations to the Investigating Officer in respect of this and other aspects of the proposed terms of reference for “Operation Haven.”



35. In summary, I suggest that the following are some of, but not all of, the matters in respect of which the court may wish to take a view.



· Whether the actions of the Minister, and the structures of accountability, legislation and process on which he founded those actions, are consistent with the general principles of fairness and compliance with Human Rights.

· Whether the actions of the Minister were consistent with legitimate expectations of process, representation, proper notice, and the right of response created by the disciplinary code and the general expectations of proper procedure relating to the suspension from duty of the Chief Officer of Police.



· Whether the Minister took into account all of the things which he had an obligation to consider before taking the serious step of suspension.



· The public interest issues arising from the creation of a precedent and the possibility of the future abuse of that precedent by a Minister who is inconvenienced by the proper execution of police duties, and of the wider implications for public confidence in the independence and integrity of the police service and of the Criminal Justice System as a whole.



Signed…………………..Graham Power.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chief Police Officer Graham Power's affidavit.........to follow.

An e-mail (below) sent from Deputy Bob Hill to all States Members, media, and others.

Needless to say, more will follow!!!
Dear Colleagues,



On Tuesday 23rd February 2010 the States will be asked to decide by what means the suspension of the Chief Officer of Police should be reviewed. That such a review is called for is now no longer the subject of significant dispute. I believe that there should be a formal committee of enquiry and have lodged a proposition to that effect. The Chief Minister believes that a less formal review by a suitably qualified expert apparently selected and appointed by him, is the right way forward. It will be for you to decide which of these alternatives will be the most effective in restoring confidence in the integrity of our government and the ability of those in senior office to conduct them in an appropriate manner on our behalf. Whatever way forward is decided upon, the review will be examining an action which is unprecedented in the history of the island. The decision to suspend was taken by the then Minister for Home Affairs. It appears to be the only recorded decision he took during his short period in office as a Minister. He took it within days of his appointment and a few days later he left office and left politics. This has inevitably raised questions as to why he appeared to act in such indecent haste, what were his motives, who was really making the decisions, why did the former and current Chief Ministers apparently conceal the truth from Mr Power and was there a conspiracy as outlined in my email to the Chief Minister which can be found on pages 22 and 23 of P9/2010?



Although the former Minister is no longer a member of the States the consequences of his decision have had far reaching repercussions which have caused grave concern in our community, resulted in two public hearings before both the Royal Court and an Administrative Appeals tribunal, an investigation whose costs are now approaching one million pounds and has yet to produce a final report, and constant media attention both on and off island. Since the date of the suspension Ministers have repeatedly resisted requests for information with the consequence that new facts have effectively been "drip fed" into the public domain, either as a result of disclosure in consequence of legal action, or through the inevitable leaks and briefings. Meanwhile, the Chief Officer decided last month to give notice of his retirement. His stated reason is that he had concluded that the suspension had reached a length which made a return to work impossible. In this context the decision to suspend has effectively evolved into a dismissal, which adds to its gravity and significance.



I believe that in considering the way forward Members should be as fully informed as possible regarding the circumstances of the suspension. I believe that you will be aware that as part of his Judicial Review proceedings, the Chief Officer swore an affidavit setting out his account of events. A copy was provided to the current Minister for Home Affairs in early 2009 and it is believed that other States members have subsequently seen a copy. I believe that it is in the interests of fair play and balance that the information in the affidavit should now be available to States Members in order that the debate and final decision on 23rd February can be as well informed as the circumstances allow. Equally, given the significant media and public interest, I have also decided that a more general release of the document is now appropriate. I had hoped to include the affidavit in my Proposition P9/2010 so as to enable Members sufficient time to read it in conjunction with my report before the debate on the 23rd February which will be held in camera, however I was informed that as the affidavit was not in the public domain it could not be included. Since then it has become clear that some members have seen the document in its entirety and that a significant part of what is said in the content has reached the public domain by other means.



There is also speculation, some of it inaccurate, as to what it may contain. Against this background and with Mr Power's consent I have decided that it is in the best interests of all parties to end this speculation by making the document more widely available. The document consists of 20 pages and it would be unreasonable to give it to you on the morning of the debate, by circulating it now will enable you to approach the debate on 23rd February with a fuller picture of the background to these events.



Regards,



Deputy Bob Hill BEM.,

Deputy of St Martin.



Tel: 01534 861019



Email: b.hill@gov.je

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Which way do “U” turn next?


So Captain Comical terry Le Sueur nee Smith has announced that he is going to appoint an external expert to look into the events surrounding the (illegal?) suspension of Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. Furthermore he announced this before Deputy Bob Hill had lodged p9/2010.

Comical Terry, we believe, announced his decision to appoint this external expert on the 28th of January 2010. Deputy Bob Hill did not lodge his proposition with the Greffe until February the 2nd 2010, so one could be forgiven for thinking Bob Hill’s proposition was only put in to scupper Comical Terry’s half baked attempt.

Well nothing could be further from the truth, indeed Comical Terry at the helm of the good ship “Titanic” has put the wheel hard over in a dramatic “U turn” in order to stay on course heading straight for that ice-berg that he and his highly paid advisors are so adamant will sink the ship.

At the States sitting on Wednesday the 20th of January Comical Terry told Deputy Hill that he has no intentions of bringing a proposition to the house to set up any inquiry into the (illegal?) suspension of CPO, QPM, Graham Power. Deputy Hill asked Comical Terry to put this in writing and at the same time told Comical Terry that he would lodge one.

On Friday the 22nd of January Deputy Hill e-mailed the bailiff and the Greffier informing them that he was in the process of drafting his proposition but sought advice about the inclusion of “a certain document”.

On Saturday the 23rd Deputy Hill received Comical Terry’s letter dated the 22nd of January stating “I see no reason for me to lodge a proposition such as you suggest”.

On Monday the 25th of January Deputy Hill circulated that letter to Comical Terry, the media and States members and his e-mail stated again “I remind you that the suspension is a NEUTRAL act and you can not jump in and out of your obligations to be neutral just because it is politically expedient.” “ It is more than apparent that previous Ministers and current Civil Servants have not acted appropriately , nor in the interest of good government and fair play to all.” “If you really wanted to stand by your statement for a full and impartial enquiry as my SUBSTANTIATED comments could be subject to challenge in terms of accuracy, then you would have agreed to establish one yourself.”
“As you chose to abdicate your responsibilities , that will be left for others to do.”


So obviously the Chief Minister is now aware that Deputy Hill would be submitting a proposition, in fact it was submitted later that day but actually not lodged until the States Sitting on Tuesday the 2nd of February. However low and behold Comical Terry writes to Deputy Hill on the 28th of January informing him of this external expert he wishes to appoint to look into the (illegal?) suspension of Chief Officer Power……Sorry Terry too little, too late, big mistake to call Deputy Hill’s bluff.

Deputy Hill’s proposition asks for a “public” inquiry set up by a committee, where Comical Terry (we believe and stand to be corrected), wants one person to conduct an inquiry, appointed by himself! and report his findings to himself. If this is the case, chances are the public will get to know nothing and as with the hedging of the Incinerator euros any disciplinary action will be done behind closed doors and that will be an end to it. Thus denying Chief Officer Power, the former Home Affairs Minister or the CEO to the Council of Ministers an opportunity to “PUBLICLY” clear their names.




On top of all this Comical Terry is hopelessly conflicted in anything to do with an investigation into the (illegal?) suspension of the Chief Officer. He was the man who denied the Chief Officer access to the information of when the letter(s) that informed him of his suspension were created, and we all know what was revealed there!! And now understand why Terry didn’t appear to be as neutral as he should have been.



The communications between Comical Terry and Deputy Hill can be viewed from page 22 of Deputy Hill’s proposition. which is under "propositions" and is "P9/2010/".