Dr Evans’ Lawyer Requests Retraction & Apology

October 12, 2017

“Any attempt to try to terminate our client now will be seen for the fiction that it is,” Dr Freddie Evans’ lawyer said in a letter sent to the Public Service Commission’s legal representative, adding that “given the Permanent Secretary was the cause of this entire mess, it in fact should be she who ought to be terminated as opposed to our client,” and “the longer this matter continues without a retraction and apology the greater the damages in defamation.”

 Ministry Says Dr Evans Was ‘Relieved Of His Duties As Commissioner’

On October 2nd, the Ministry of Education stated that they “can confirm that Dr. Freddie Evans has been relieved of his duties as Commissioner of Education,” and an email was apparently sent out to educators by the Education Permanent Secretary stating the same.

Dr Evans Obtains Legal Representation

Following those statements, Dr Evans — a veteran educator who was appointed to the post in March 2017 — obtained legal representation, with his lawyer objecting to the statements, saying that his client never received a letter of termination or dismissal.

His lawyer Mark Diel stated that the only person who can terminate Dr Evans’ employment is the Governor, and this can only be done during his period of probation, which expired on 30 September 2017.

PSC Says Letter Had “Administrative Error” & Dr Evans “Has Not Been Terminated”

In a letter dated October 5th, the Public Service Commission said, “The letter to Dr. Evans dated 2nd October 2017 from the Public Service Commission contains an administrative error, and as a result Dr. Freddie Evans has not been terminated from the post of Commissioner of Education, nor has he been confirmed in post.”

Dr Evans’ Lawyer Calls For Ministry To Issue Retraction

In a follow up letter from Dr Evans’ lawyer, dated October 6th, Mr Diel said, “One question that has been answered by the PSC [presumably following consultation or direction from the Governor] is that our client has not been terminated from his post.

“You are also well aware that our client in any event cannot now be terminated from his post as his period of probation expired last Saturday.

“Consequently it should be obvious that the statements as published by the Ministry via the Permanent Secretary to principals, teachers and the media were wrong.”

The lawyer then called on the Ministry to confirm that “it will cause a retraction of its statements made on Monday, 2 October 2017, to be sent to the same individuals that it so rashly contacted earlier this week,” adding that “it cannot now be in issue that your statements were wrong”.

Latest Letter From Dr Evans Lawyer To PSC

In a letter dated October 11th and sent to the PSC’s lawyer, Dr Evans lawyer Mark Diel stated, “We write further to this matter generally and set out what our client will accept to resolve this present problem that has arisen through no fault of his own.

“Firstly we would wish to set out some [hopefully] agreed or uncontentious points:

  • 1. That our client was not terminated during his probationary period.
  • 2. That in fact our client has performed his job above the standard expected. We refer to the reports for the three years when he was Acting Commissioner and five of the six months of his probation as evidence of this.
  • 3. That the recommendation of termination by the Permanent Secretary was questionable at best and in fact is demonstrably fallacious.
  • 4. That the Permanent Secretary did not have the ability under the Regulations to write a probationary report on our client.

“The result is that our client through no fault of his own has had his reputation smeared through a series of acts that were either negligent or malicious.

“By way of example only, the Permanent Secretary knowing she had not received any communication with the Governor or any representative took it upon herself to hold staff meetings and to publish to his colleagues and the press that our client had been relieved of his duties when that was obviously not the case.

“Further [and perhaps even more egregious] when the PSC finally stated that our client had not been terminated, she and the Ministry, despite urging from us, did not post any such retraction and have yet to do so.

“Given the Permanent Secretary was the cause of this entire mess, it in fact should be she who ought to be terminated as opposed to our client.

“Further, at the risk of stating the obvious, the longer this matter continues without a retraction and apology the greater the damages in defamation.

“Given the above, none of which can be properly in contention, our client is prepared to waive any and all claims against the Governor, the PSC and the Ministry provided;

  • 1. Our client continues in his post as Commissioner of Education:
  • 2. The PSC, the Ministry and the Permanent Secretary post a joint retraction of the events of last week and an apology to our client;
  • 3. The Permanent Secretary, given her obvious and improper conduct, be moved to another Ministry if she is not in fact dismissed from her position:
  • 4. Our client’s legal fees be paid in full.

“We should point out that any attempt to try to terminate our client now will be seen for the fiction that it is. For the last three and a half years our client has performed his job and done it well.

“Any attempt to further tarnish our client’s excellent reputation as an educator will be met with further claims for damages. We regret having to state this but given our client’s treatment to date the warning needs to be made.”

The Ministry of Education declined to comment on the letter.

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