The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) last night confirmed Assistant Commissioner of Police Clarence Reckley, the husband of former Urban Renewal Deputy Director Michelle Reckley, has been placed on leave.
Michelle Reckley was charged in a Nassau court on February 14 with defrauding the government of over $1.2 million through the Small Homes Repair Programme on Grand Bahama.
The statement from the Office of the Prime Minister came hours after opposition leader Philip Brave Davis said at a press conference that Clarence Reckley was forced into early retirement on the orders of the prime minister.
The office was asked to respond to Davis’ claim.
In the statement, the OPM said three senior officers were “informed to proceed on accumulated vacation leave with the option to start retirement leave at the end of their leave periods”.
Asked specifically whether Reckley was among those three officers, the OPM said he was.
“The decision is in line with an ongoing strategic restructuring exercise of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and is in accordance with established policies [and] procedures of the government of The Bahamas,” the statement said.
A police force manpower audit, which was tabled in the House of Assembly last May, revealed that the senior command of the force was too top-heavy.
The OPM told The Nassau Guardian that there was nothing unusual about this sort of decision.
The Bahamian constitution, however, provides that the power to remove an assistant commissioner is vested in the governor general.
Article 121 of the constitution states, “Power to remove and to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in the office of or above the rank of assistant commissioner in the police force is vested in the governor general acting in accordance with the advice of the Police Service Commission after consultation with the prime minister.”
Asked yesterday whether he was placed on administrative leave, Reckley claimed this was not true. According to the police force’s web page, Reckley has been on the force since 1980.