Top cops to get $2.4m.

Dwayne Gibbs.

PORT OF SPAIN — Trinidad has taken a decision to make a total ex gratia payment of over $2 million to Canadian top cops Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski, following their resignations announced on Monday by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The men, who signed a three-year contract in 2010, resigned 14 months before their term came to an end, amid continuous criticisms about their performance.

In a news release issued by the Attorney General’s office, Acting Attorney General Ganga Singh said the men are to be paid following a recommendation approved by the National Security Council and the Cabinet.

“The Attorney General (Ag) advises that consequent upon the resignation of the Commissioner of Police, Dr Dwayne Gibbs, and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Jack Ewatski, the payment of ex gratia sums in the amount of $1,277,420 and $1,210,307 respectively were recommended to, and approved by, both the National Security Council and the Cabinet,” the news release said.

Singh added that the recommendation was made after “consideration of all relevant facts and is in keeping with applicable industrial relations practice and the highest standards of governance”.

“In a tense and highly challenging environment, both Dr Gibbs and Mr Ewatski performed their duties courageously. Their premature departure leaves an unexpired term of 14 months under their contracts of employment, with a before tax value of $1,684,557.33 and $1,590,073.33 respectively. The agreed ex gratia payments are intended to assist both gentlemen in their resettling efforts,” Singh said.

In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Singh said the men would receive the money at the end of their service (August 7), “in recognition of service rendered”.

He added that the payment was nothing new as former High Court judge Herbert Volney, when he resigned from the judiciary to contest the 2010 general election, the then Cabinet took a decision to give him an ex gratia payment.

Asked about the perception that the ex gratia payment may be the Government’s way of avoiding a breach of contract lawsuit, Singh said: “Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs was very clear he was leaving because of personal reasons; there is no question about that. That does not arise at all. When Mr Volney accepted the ex gratia payment, was that a similar situation? No! The issue of that does not arise at all.”

He added that the money was not a buy-out either. (Express)

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