New PSC members to be found as Bliss Seepersad resigns
AFTER days of speculation, Bliss Seepersad on Thursday resigned as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) which is now vacant owing to the earlier resignation of three members.
This comes after the bungled appointment and suspension of Gary Griffith as acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) pending a probe into the award of firearm user’s licences (FULs) by retired judge Stanley John.
PSC ex-members Courtney McNish, Dr Susan Craig-James and Roger Kawalsingh were reportedly upset at Seepersad’s alleged lack of consultation before suspending Griffith.
The filling of the PSC with fresh nominees now takes on a certain urgency as current acting CoP Mc Donald Jacob’s stint is due to end after October 15.
While announcing Seepersad’s resignation on Thursday, President’s House did not state any deadline for its search for fresh members.
Newsday was unable to contact Seepersad for a comment and her three ex-colleagues remained tightlipped.
Law Association president Sophia Chote SC urged expediency but not panic in filling the posts.
Former PSC member Martin George welcomed Seepersad’s resignation, saying any attempt to build a new board around Seepersad would have damaged the PSC even more.
He called for maturity and decorum from both the Government and Opposition moving forward without recriminations.
“We’ve been through a series of twists and turns only to end up in one conundrum after another. We need to seek to emerge from this bigger, better and stronger than before.”
Griffith’s attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj opted to not comment on the issue.
Newsday was unable to contact the Prime Minister or Attorney General.
House of Representatives Leader Camille Robinson-Regis said she was not commenting in the latest development.
“I’m not involved in the process (of selecting a CoP) except when things come to Parliament. That is how all members of the House of Representatives are involved in this process. “
Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein told Newsday, “This resignation should have come earlier. This resignation is not enough, as so many questions remain unanswered that Miss Seepersad, members of the commission, the attorney general and prime minister have to answer regarding the operation and appointment of an acting CoP.
“This matter has plunged TT into a constitutional crisis. It is all rooted in bad law which the AG drafted in terms of the 2021 order to appoint a CoP. That has caused this entire debacle and placed Trinidad and Tobago in an unfortunate and worrying state”
Hosein said the entire matter warranted an investigation.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Seepersad’s resignation was “the final nail in the coffin of the embattled PSC.”
She too blamed Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
“This entire crisis unfolding before our eyes was birthed from his tampering with the process…”
She also asked Dr Rowley to say if he met President Paula-Mae Weekes to discuss the selection of an acting CoP.
Persad-Bissessar urged Al-Rawi to resign and Rowley to give an account of himself in this matter.
BY: SEAN DOUGLAS