Lawyers for Freddie Evans are heading to court over his purported dismissal as Education Commissioner and have demanded retractions of media reports that he has been dismissed.
Unofficial reports that Evans was about to be relieved of his duties came to a head yesterday when various media reported that Permanent Secretary Valerie Robinson-James had sent an email to the education community saying he had been “relieved of his duties”.
An official Ministry of Education statement sent to the media “confirmed” that Evans had been “relieved of his duties” as Education Commissioner.
“However, the Ministry would like to assure the public that an interim plan is being put in place until the Board of Education commences a recruitment process.”
But a stern letter sent to the media outlets this afternoon by law firm Marshall, Diel and Myers noted that only the Governor could terminate Evans’ employment upon recommendation of the Public Service Commission – and then only during his probationary period which expired on September 30 – and that Evans had received no such communication from the Governor.
Evans’ lawyers noted that they would be taking action seeking a declaration that his “employment had not been terminated in accordance with his contract or at all.”
It goes on to say that their client will bring libel proceedings against the Ministry and the PS and would include the media outlets unless they issued a retraction of their reports.
Only one media outlet – TNN – issued the requested retraction.
The lawyers’ correspondence also includes an October 2 letter from Government’s Director of Human Resources, Carlita O’Brien, in which she informs Evans that the PSC had reviewed his 15 page rebuttal to the PS’s probation report and decided to recommend him to his former position as Assistant Director.
Government House has not responded to our queries seeking clarification.
Evans has just completed a six month probationary period as Commissioner. Prior to the appointment he had served as acting Commissioner for three years.
The post has been controversial since its establishment in 2009, with critics charging that qualified Bermudians were overlooked in Government’s recruitment efforts.
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