Jomo Thomas takes the oath as Speaker of the House of Assembly on Dec. 29, 2015. (Photo: Kingsley Roberts/Facebook)

Speaker of the House of Assembly Jomo Thomas says he sees nothing wrong with continuing to practice law while being Speaker — a full-time position.

“I don’t work part-time. I work full-time. There is nothing that I have had to do as a speaker that I have not done,” he told iWitness News on the weekend.

“I am a full-time worker as the Speaker of the Assembly. I don’t know if in people’s mind full time means that I can’t do anything else. I can tell you right now, if that’s what it means, and I had had this conversation with the Prime Minister, I would not have become the Speaker.”

Thomas, who failed in his bid to win the South Leeward seat for the ruling Unity Labour Party in the Dec. 9 general elections, was elected unopposed as House Speaker on Dec. 29.

There have been comments in some quarters that he continues to practise law while holding the Speaker’s position, which was made a full-time job since the ULP came to office.

Regardless his continuing practicing of law, Thomas told iWitness News:

“I don’t see a contradiction there at all. All the duties of the Speaker, since I was named Speaker on January 29, I carried those out. I meet diplomats, I speak to the staff at the office, we do things in keeping with the House of Assembly, I presided over the Estimates. I am preparing now for the Budget presentation Debate on the 22nd [of February]. I don’t see anything I have done or would do that would create any contradiction with that.”

Thomas is a lawyer for at least two clients who have filed high-profile cases against the government.

The cases were filed before Thomas was appointed a ULP senator in 2013. One of his clients, Otto Sam, who was dismissed from the Public Service, has won a case against the government, but the government has appealed.

6 replies on “Jomo sees nothing wrong with practicing law while being Speaker”

    1. Jeannine during the stint of the previous speaker they made the job a full time one not just on the days parliament is held and other odd days. It is a 9 to 5 job with extra hours as required and the pay was increased accordingly, Jomo will need a wheel barrow just to carry his pay home. The position was converted into a job for the boy’s as it currently is.

      If Jomo wants to practice law then take the job back to part time and adjust the pay accordingly. I have no grouch with that, but practicing law during work time is out.

      Jomo you cannot have it both ways, but perhaps you can if Ralph says its OK.

  1. There must be a conflict of interest when he represents a case against the government. Also if this is a full time job and he is also practicing law then that means he is using time from his full time job as speaker and earning money which must therefore belong to the state. Unless of course he is going to practice law at weekends and in the evenings.

    Practicing law whilst being speaker cannot be in the interest of the state, the people, and cannot be right. I can understand Gonsalves having confirmed it was OK because he would say that to get Jomo to take the job. Because whilst Jomo is in Gonsalves clutchs he cannot be a threat to Gonsalves and I believe Gonsalves actually fears him. Some of Jomos past statements about the ULP and Gonsalves would certainly be a reason to keep him in the fold and under control.

  2. This is a very serious breach of conflict of interest ethics even if not illegal in SVG.

    As Speaker this guy will have to make rulings that could very well favour his clients. This is not hypothetical. If, for example, what if he had a client who was fighting some government legislation regarding zoning in Canouan and he made a ruling in the House on the same matter by rejecting an Opposition motion on the dispute?

  3. Patrick Ferrari says:

    All of all yo talking bout what you don’t know nuttin bout. All you have to do is: ask Ralph.

    As CEO of the Tourism Authority, Glen Beache’s public charge marketing. When he set up his private marketing company the prime minister said no conflict of interest.

    How come not Jomo is in conflict of interest now when Ralph done set the new rules of conflict of interest.

    Man, look, go ask Ralph nuh.

    IT IS NOT WHAT. IT IS WHO. And that is a 15-year rule going on 20.

  4. If he actually checks himself he will undoubtedly find he is already a eunuch bound to serve in the family dynasty harem which will affect his future and the peoples respect for him forever.

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