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Fernander resists ‘demotion’

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clayton Fernander was yesterday reassigned to the Ministry of Health after returning from a months-long leave, his attorney Wayne Munroe, QC, confirmed.

Munroe said Fernander does not intend to be demoted and is seeking legal advice.

Fernander was one of eight senior police officers who were suddenly placed on leave in March 2019.

When he returned to duty yesterday, Fernander was given a letter, signed by Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson, advising him that the new assignment would be effective as of Monday, January 27, and lasting for 12 months.

“I wish to advise that pursuant to Section 12 (3) of the Police Force Act, 2009, I have decided to deploy you on special assignment at the Ministry of Health to assist with the overall security concerns within that ministry,” Ferguson wrote.

“The deployment is to take effect on Monday 27 January 2020 for an initial period of 12 months, and is ancillary to your present position in the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Your current benefits, entitlements and pension are to remain the same.

“You will play an integral part of the executive team in that ministry. You are hereby directed to report to the minister of health for briefing.

“I wish you good success in this endeavor.”

Fernander is now the second senior officer to return to duty and be reassigned.

In December, ACP Ken Strachan was reassigned as the “chief security officer” at the Department of Social Services.

Strachan, who is also represented by Munroe, resisted the move and has since taken legal action.

Silly

Munroe yesterday labeled the decision to move Fernander as “silly”.

“They are attempting to demote him,” Munroe said.

“He does not intend to be demoted. He will demand to be respected.

“Fernander is ACP of crime and up to his time being placed on leave he was not aware of any serious crimes related to [the] health system.”

He added, “The ACP will be contacting the minister of health as directed to find out what calamity happened between the time of him being sent on leave and his return today.

“He had not noticed anything reported by the press and so these must be crimes that were suppressed from the public and the media and did not feature in a crime briefing by police. And didn’t feature in the police year end report and must be very serious to require the attention of an ACP.

“And so, he is alarmed and must get to the bottom of this. Anyone knowing Clayton Fernander knows if somebody has been covering up crime from the police there will be a price to pay.”

Last March, Deputy Commissioner Emrick Seymour, Senior ACP Stephen Dean, ACP Clarence Reckley, Fernander, ACP Ashton Greenslade, Strachan, ACP Leamond Deleveaux and ACP Theophilus Cunningham were asked to take their many weeks of accumulated vacation.

Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Tellis Bethel was also placed on leave in October.

He was expected to return to work last week, however Minister of National Security Marvin Dames told The Guardian that Bethel will remain out of office until at least April.

Dames has maintained that there is “nothing sinister” with the reassignments of senior police officers.

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