…seeking $36M in damages
The dismissal of a public servant by the coalition Government has provoked legal action, with a former Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Public Health Ministry mounting a legal challenge against the state more than two years after he was dismissed.
Through his attorney, former Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, Leslie Cadogan, who served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health before he was dismissed with effect from September 1, 2015, is seeking compensation in excess of $36 million.
According to court documents seen by this publication, Attorney General Basil Williams has been named as the respondent.
The writ sets out that Cadogan is seeking a declaration that he was wrongfully and unlawfully dismissed by the Defendant; and damages in excess of $18 million for unlawful dismissal.
The former PS is also seeking damages in excess of $18 million for breach of contract; exemplary damages, costs of the court proceedings, and “interest pursuant to Section 12 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Chap 6:02, at the rate of six per cent (6 per cent) per annum from the date of filing to the date of judgment, and thereafter at the rate of four per cent (4%) per until fully paid.”
According to the writ, Cadogan was contracted to perform the functions of PS from November 7, 2014 until December 11, 2017 at a monthly salary of $566,480. His other emoluments included paid electricity, cellular and residential telephone service, as well as 24 hr security at his official place of residence.
The writ notes that “if the person engaged shall be compelled by reason of ill-health (not caused by his own misconduct) to resign from ofﬁce, or if at any time it shall be certiﬁed by a duly qualiﬁed medical ofﬁcer employed by the Government that he is incapable by reason of inﬁrmity of mind or body, of rendering further efficient service in Guyana, the Government shall pay him/her salary up to the date of such a certiﬁcate, but he/she shall have no further claims on the Government.”
It adds that if the contracted PS had neglected or refused to comply with any order for any cause other than ill health, and became unable to perform any of his duties; or shall disclose any information respecting the affairs of the Government to any unauthorized person; or in any manner misconduct himself,” the Government could terminate the contract.
According to Nandlall in the writ, the defendant has been denied over $15 million in salary from September 2015 to December 2017, as well as emoluments such as gratuity and vacation allowance.