First respondent – Minister Lisa Hanna
Second respondent – Diane Gordon Harrison (Office of the Children’s Advocate)
Third respondent – Lois Parkes (Services Commission)
Questions were posed in parliament by Miss Hanna’s opposition counterpart Miss Olivia Babsy Grange a short time ago which seemed to be related to the impasse as she wanted to know the employment status of the PM, the Office of the Children’s Advocate alongside the police had raided the youth ministry on February 24, 2014 where several staff members were questioned as to the allegations, the OCA front woman Dianne Gordon Harrison at the time had said she was under a gag order and by law cannot speak to ongoing investigations. It has also come to light that the OCA has written to the Minstry(er) of Youth & Culture based on reports they were in hand of alleged inappropriate action by the persons named now known as the PS.
The questions from Miss Grange include:
1) To ascertain whether the permanent secretary is still in the Ministry’s employ?
2) If that PS had disciplinary action taken against him, if so what conduct or breach would have triggered such action?
3) Are the rumours circulating bearing any truth in them? (bearing in mind Miss Hanna had allegedly said the PS was on leave and all was well
4) Will the minister say if the PS was suspended due to matters in the remit of an agency of the MYC?
5) Will the minister say if he was suspended when did this take effect and for what period?
6) Given rise to the suspension or other means of separation when did this come to the Minister’s attention?
I understand the sensitive nature of that position as any hint or allegations of such nature can bring the entire thrust of the entity can be brought into disrepute, Miss Grange’s questions however though plausible seem more to confirm what is out there on the grapevine more so than unearth the truth but be that as it may this one has not gone away quietly as previous. When more powerful folks get into hot water like this we often do not see such cases going so far but it dies a quick death in as far as public scrutiny is concerned although very few media outlets are tracking it. Miss Hanna has not answered Miss Grange’s parliament floor inquiry.
Lisa Hanna has since responded to Mr Bartley’s concerns via an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court earlier this month, it includes the aforementioned letter sent to Miss Hanna by Miss Gordon Harrison on January 17 this year which considered Mr Sydney Bartley; Miss Harrison told the Minister “I wish to advise you as a matter of courtesy that the Office of the Children’s Advocate has received and recorded a complaint against the Permanent Secretary in your Ministry alleging sexual abuse of a male child” she continued that the OCA had arrived at no find whatsoever but found it appropriate that the investigations be brought to her attention, Minister Hanna responded the same day she told Miss Harrison that she found the contents of the letter disturbing on many levels and that she would move to have Bartley immediately dismissed, Miss Hanna in her affidavit also said the Prime Minister was briefed and that the PM directed Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Saunders to act in Mr Bartley’s place which became effective January 27th this year. A stamped affidavit was also filed at the Supreme Court as well by Chief Personnel Officer of the Services Commission Miss Lois Parkes where she indicated that she met Mr Bartley in the company of Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Saunders during that meeting Mr Saunders suggested that Mr Bartley be sent on immediate early retirement; that recommendation was made subsequently by the public services commission the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. Miss Parkes told the court “The Governor General considered the recommendation and did not approve” in the meantime in his affidavit Mr Bartley says he is in the dark about allegations he abused a male child he said he was summoned by Lisa Hanna in October last year regarding what she described as strong rumours as several persons had communicated to her that he was having meetings late at night in his office and that she would not return to the New Kingston offices if he was present.
He went on to say that she has not given details as to illegal, immoral or improper conduct on his part he said Miss Hanna had earlier recommended that he take vacation leave while she carried out checks, he also claimed to have fallen ill, shortly after he was contacted by a news team about his going on leave and why. On October 31 another news team contacted Minister Hanna and asked her about the allegations and leave she terminated the call by saying “The Permanent Secretary is fine” as the Simpson Miller administration tries to separate themselves from him Mr Bartley also adds that he was aboard an American Airlines flight to Long Island when he was taken off the flight by immigration officers as a stop order would prevent him from travelling, he said he was scared and his mouth became dry immediately.
He said that he did not take any vacation since 2011 so he agreed to take leave providing he dealt with some matters still on his desk including the parliamentary issues to do with the appropriations committee to which he must do. He claimed in December that his two secretaries a Miss Peters and Miss White to which he was instructed to reassign the latter Miss White to the PS office which he found strange afterwards as she had a good track record while he thought the investigations were clear. Two hand delivered letters normally done by bearer was also red flags in his minds. Emails and other communications also had him concerned as the OCA were named and that the “report” discussion he should offer to go on early retirement (typed in bold underlined font) the fact that the minister wished him all the nest suggested that it was a done deal and that he should go this without getting a chance to seek legal advice etc.
The cabinet secretary proposed one of two things which he posited as “ideas” for a solution
1 Go on early retirement (taking vacation leave first then in the midst enable that application)
2 interdicted pending investigations
All this no definitive dates, times of the immoral or illegal acts of which he is accused.
What also came strange was on Tuesday January 21, 2014 the services commission rep Miss Parkes called and told Mr Bartley that he had to take vacation leave even while he indicated he would take such leave (via communiqué to senior staff) on January 27th. He took two days departmental leaves which commenced January 22, 2014 and one day sick leave January 24 which were approved.
In Miss Hanna’s affidavit she continued that the applicant/accused shared personal information with her in a meeting but given the trust reposed in the ministry he should take early leave to which he was entitled.
Let us bear in mind when it comes to allegations of improper touching or related accusations that there are two levels of investigations
1 The Office of the Children’s Advocate would be activated from which criminal charges can be brought if proof is found then disclosure is made to the accused afterwards they can prepare their defense.
Let us keep a close eye on this one folks as cases such as this only serve to reinforce sometimes the homo-paedophile justification for resisting gay rights or the decriminalization of buggery by the religious right movement and other non religious anti gay actors, one such religious anti gay voice recently posted her own questions via Facebook:
UPDATE March 11, 2014 - more of the affidavit and connected matters courtesy of Nationwide Radio.
Peace and tolerance
UPDATE March 12 Clovis cartoon in a kind of late follow up but the point is made:
UPDATE March 18.03.14 courtesy of RJR News:
There's a development concerning Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Sydney Bartley.
RJR News has received word that Bartley has been reassigned to a senior post in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
It's understood that he will be based at the head office of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
Efforts to contact Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Douglas Saunders, on Bartley's reassignment was unsuccessful.
News of his reassignment comes ahead of Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna's response to questions in the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon.
Last month, the Opposition Spokesperson on Youth and Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, tabled questions in the House regarding whether Bartley is still acting in the post or disciplinary action has been taken against him.
Bartley, who was appointed in January last year to act as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, has taken legal action to prevent the authorities from sending him on early retirement.
UPDATE March 18 television news coverage: