Former Registrar of the High Court, Tamara Gibson-Marks. (Internet photo)

Six police officers visited the High Court Office Tuesday, escorted the acting Registrar to her car, and told the rest of the staff to leave by 4:15 p.m.

The police officers — constables in grey and black and grey and white uniforms — told the staff they were sent to secure the building.

The development came one day after eight staff members were abruptly transferred to other departments of the government.

A staff member at the High Court Office, who requested anonymity, told I-Witness News that this is a latest in a string of developments at the office since the abrupt resignation on May 21 of former registrar Tamara Gibson-Marks.

The government has said that it is investigating Gibson-Marks, who left St. Vincent for St. Lucia, where she was born, 90 minutes after her resignation.

Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan has applied to the court for Gibson-Marks to show cause why she should not be suspended or disbarred from practicing law in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ralph Gonsalves has said.

The staff members were notified of the transfers orally on Monday, and they will take effect today – Wednesday.

But the persons being reassigned have not been given any reasons for the transfer or any details about their new appointments.

The source told I-Witness News that contrary to information in the public, only one of the eight persons being transferred, Deputy Registrar Wayne Matthews, had made such request.

The source, however, noted that Matthews had requested a transfer long before the resignation of the registrar.

The other persons being transferred are Stacy Wickham-Caesar, who works at the court of appeal desk; court clerks Avalene Clarke and Rose-Marie Quamina; Nicole Hamilton, who works at the criminal desk; Joesel Pemberton, who works at the civil desk; and Itesha Alexander and Esau Comas, who work in the accounts department.

Mysia Stapleton, secretary to the former registrar who also types judgements, was also notified of a transfer, but that decision has been revoked, the source told I-Witness News.

The source said the persons being transferred have worked at the High Court Office for an average of 10 years.

They told I-Witness News that around 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, a uniformed police officer went to the office of acting Registrar Lekeicha Caesar-Toney and accompanied her to her car.

The source said this has never happened during their stint at the office.

The police officer returned to the High Court Office, looked around Caesar-Toney’s office, locked it then stood up in the general office area.

Shortly after, the police officer was joined by five other constables, who also stood up in the general office area, I-Witness News was told.

“They were looking around, said nothing to the staff, and no senior member of the staff said anything,” the source said.

The source said a staff member asked the police officer why they were there and was told that they were there to secure the building and all employees were to leave by 4:15 p.m.

A staff member inquired about the cleaner, who comes in after 4:15 p.m., and the police officer told them that the building would not be clean that day.

“I am asking the question, and so are others. Are we being investigated? Are we criminals? Are we a threat to the department?” the source said.

The source was concerned that the developments at the office and the visit of the police would cause negative perceptions of staff members’ characters as they are being transferred to other ministries.

The source said they could understand that the state might want to heighten its security at the High Court Office after the developments surrounding the former registrar.

“If you want the heightened security, why do it then,” they however said, adding that if staff members wanted to do anything untoward, they wouldn’t have had to wait until the day before persons were being transferred.

The source said the only information they have about Gibson-Marks’ resignation and the subsequent investigation is what was published in the media.

“Literally, we knew nothing about what was going on apart from what was reported in the media.”

The source said there was an incident where it was alleged that the office of the acting Registrar was broken into when she was away for about half an hour and it was claimed that a sealed file was missing.

The source said that while the acting Registrar’s office was locked during her absence, “miraculously”, one of the drawers was reportedly found half open.

The source said that the acting Registrar summoned the staff to her office and told them that the police would be called in.

This, however, was not done, and the staff heard nothing more of the alleged break-in, the source said.

But, later that day, the staff found that the access code to the general staff areas was changed.

When they inquired, they were told that the code would be given to two members of staff only, the source said.

13 replies on “Cops visit High Court Office, tell staff leave by 4:15PM”

  1. Peter Binose says:

    Corruption is rife in every office, ministry and department of this current government.

    If we want to stop the fish from rotting, we must cut the head off and rip the guts out as soon as possible.

  2. The way the staff is treated is the way the registrar should have been treated but she was allowed to leave. Who would want that file to disappear? Someone who want to cover up what the registrar did or someone who want to expose her?
    So much for the transparency that we boast about

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Sending the police to guard the Courthouse is like sending the fox to guard the hen house.

    This is just a smokescreen to fool the public into thinking either (1) that the authorities are taking the alleged theft of funds seriously by seeming to conduct a thorough investigation or (2) that Gibson-Marks was forced to take the blame for the actions of other corrupt employees.

    More importantly, the issue at the Registry reflects the rampant corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence within the SVG civil service.

    I contend that in every department where money changes hands, funds are misplaced, stolen, misappropriated, or misused.

    The issue at the Registry is just the tip of the iceberg.

    If there is a change of government, the first order of business has to be an impartial and professional forensic audit of all government departments.

  4. Peter Binose says:

    So who is going to watch the police? Remember there are criminals employed in the SVG force, and that is an absolute proven fact. Policemen who have been charged and convicted, criminals, working in the police force.

  5. How ironic: In May I inquired why the tax department books were at the Treasury? It looks very suspicious, especially because no one knew when the books would be returned. Here I was trying to prove that my taxes were paid for 2012 and the books to show the money was transferred from Scotia bank; was not there. I went to the office several times during my 5 months stay in SVG and got the run-around.
    It would be nice to find out why the books were removed, but then in SVG no one speaks out, unless one wants to lose his/her job. And Ralph is like the monkey: He sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil. If you don’t believe me ask Arnhim. He has been trying for years to get answers from Ralph and all he got were excuses and bullshit. The man is a total stranger to the truth.
    I also believe that every department has something to hide, especially the passport and treasury department. There seems to be too many hanky-panky taking place in government departments. There is more in the mortar besides the pestle. The entire government is corrupt and Vincentians should throw the entire lot out. ULP supporters, please let the government know how you feel. One is already telling Ralph he need a run-off in South Leeward, or else. For the love on SVG unite and get back together, instead of carrying on this division and political tsunami, which is a plague in the island and on the economy, even when elections are many years away.
    Like I’ve said before there is a clean-up taking place to remove all incriminating documents from all departments. Ralph knows his time is coming and he knows he cannot win the next election. If push comes to shove, he may turn to fire to save his and others arse from going to jail.

  6. Urlan Alexander says:

    Stewwwpss!!Weeks after pretty thief left the department police going to lock down? or are they going to throw away evidence?

  7. Peter Binose says:

    C. ben-David, your quite right. Lets hope they start at the top of the ladder and work down. Not at the bottom of the ladder and work up.

    Lets start with the Minister of Finance and the ministry of finance. Not that there is currently any obvious evidence of wrong doing.

    You note that even the cleaner was sent home.

    I don’t know who will be going in there, because there is no one in the police service capable of forensic audit. Do you remember, they even had money and goods going missing from their commissary stores some years presently past. They have been known steal each others luncheon and snacks from refrigerators. They have been known to shoot each other.

    I suppose the saying, set a thief to catch a thief has some relevance.

    Ask the PM, and the Minister of finance, they will both tell you, at the same time, “show me a liar and I will show you a thief”.

    Now I am not suggesting that being both PM and Finance Minister makes him a two headed monster, but it hasn’t stopped him from being a liar. Remember he/they told us so himself/themselves.

    Its all a bit confusing really. But what we know is, Ronny has got a headache and I should feel sorry for him, but him being a supporter of the two headed minster of Obeah [that’s a kind religious two towered structure], I do not.

  8. Patrick Ferrari says:

    This new corruption is a CIHP upgrade. Douglas Slater called the corruption in CIHP “a little incentive” for the people who benefitted, and the Prime Minister disregarded the Director of Audit’s report of corruption (in CIHP). So here we are, with the upgrade, from a little incentive to a big incentive all because they were soft and sweet on crime.

    (“a little incentive to staff members” Searchlight Fri, Aug 13 2010 by Kenton Chance – http://searchlight.vc/minister-of-health-defends-the-integrity-of-his-officers-p28303-82.htm

    The Prime Minister’s disregard for the Audit report [see “evidence to the contrary”] – http://searchlight.vc/pm-procedure-skirted-p28343-82.htm)

  9. Tamara send a couple thousand my way, I promise I won’t tell a soul LMAO. Mr Eustace is not the only profit in SVG, the PM made some prophecy that have came to past.

    Prophecy number 1: “When there party is about to lose government they will thief and they will thief fast”. This prophecy was spot on, because they thieving down the place, so we know what is going to happen this election, out of government they going.

    Prophecy number 2: “I will make the country ungovernable”. This prophecy also came to pass, the state of our country has gone to new low, the crime level and the types of gun related crimes have turned us into little Jamaica. Prostitution and taking advantage of people girl pickney.

    Well done Dr Ralph, Arnhim think he is the only prophet too? well you are a prophet too. Pat yourself on the back. You are a prophet of profit. OWN THE JAIL

  10. Why haven’t the gov’t deliver on it’s promises of integrity legislations and though on crime No one can convince me that it is so hard to do. Had this been done, Mr D.Cummins would not have been a PR.Had they jailed Miss Georgetown Town Board Money it would have served as a wake up call for all and Mr Walters would not have been in NY after threatening a uniformed police at Sion Hill and embarrass himself in the NCB, Mrs C Biddy and Mr Alexander would not have been patted on the shoulders for jobs well done. But, like Christ, Mr Otto Sam has paid the ultimate price(sacrificial lamb).This is what happen when one gets to comfortable and happy. The PM is like a father with spoil kids. He makes excuses for ALL there mistakes and dishonesty. So what becomes of a child of such broughtupsy? THEY WILL GET WORST. But who should have the rod of correction is worst off. Mr Eustace, don’t want to pay a poor lady what is not even his, collecting moneys for research office and making it unaccountable. Lays should be for the lawless but has now been used for the law abiding, time will tell.

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