A bid by the Local Government Commission (LGC) to overturn a High Court ruling which made its dismissal of Royston King, as Town Clerk of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of Georgetown unlawful, has been struck out.
Guyana Standard understands that yesterday (January 13, 2020) the Registrar of the High Court struck out the matter for non-compliance with the new Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) of 2016.
This newscast had previously reported that the LGC filed an appeal against the High Court ruling. It was, however, not filed within the time prescribed by the CPR.
It was in September, 2019 that High Court Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall ruled that the LGC acted unlawfully when it dismissed King based on the findings of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the affairs of the M&CC.
The CoI held from September 24 to November 30, 2018, and headed by retired Judge Cecil Kennard, cited King for gross misconduct, abuse of office, recklessness, dishonesty, conspiracy, and misappropriation of funds.
Among the recommendations made by the CoI was for King to be dismissed. King was sent on administrative leave and subsequently had his services terminated.
Justice Ramlall also ruled that the setting up, investigations and findings of the CoI were also unlawful.
The Judge, in making such a finding said that the LGC has no legal authority to delegate its investigatory powers to a CoI.
As it is, King remains Town Clerk with the status quo being of September 21, 2018, when he was ordered to proceed on administrative leave.
He is entitled to all his superannuation benefits, inclusive of pension, gratuity, payments in lieu of annual leave up until he attains the statutory age of retirement on January 20, 2020.
King was awarded $200,000 in court costs.
In documents filed at the High Court, King said that he began working at the M&CC at the age of 24, and was appointed Town Clerk on July 14, 2015.
He said, “…While working in this capacity, many challenges would have confronted the Council and those which are relevant to my appointment. I would devise all legal and lawful methods to discharge my functions earnestly, conscientiously and sincerely in the best interest of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown.”
Among other things, he had argued that the allegations of misconduct levelled against him by the CoI were criminal, but unlike the universally unaccepted principle of equality, transparency, and equity, the LGC acted as judge, jury and executioner in its own cause, as opposed to calling in the police and obtaining advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions, since State assets and monies were allegedly involved.