On my last blog posting entitled "What the hell is going on, Senator Le Marquand" I asked the very simple question: Why did you resurrect an allegation of a bullying culture in the States of Jersey Police ("SOJP") on 31 December 2010 when you had in fact dropped the allegations in January 2009? Could the Home Affairs Minister, or his assistant, give me a straight answer to this question? No they could not. Could Ben Querée or Diane Simon of the Jersey Evening Post, who were copied in on the email exchanges, answer this very simple question? No they could not.
For me this is one of the fundamental breakdowns in checks and balances. In fact, no one can get a straight answer to anything on this island. I would hasten to say that the States' Chamber is in disarray, not only at the level of governance we are receiving but the very fact that no one is receiving a proper answer to the questions asked.
Some might say "what's the big deal of the dropping of Part D of the Napier Terms of Reference?" What I would like my readers to do is look at the email I sent Terry Le Sueur, other politicians and members of the press. I laid out the facts and asked for the answers. What I got back was nothing short of a joke. At that very moment, I felt like a States member and not a constituent. The reason for this feeling was because I now knew how hard it was to get any kind of answer to a serious question.
I had quite clearly laid out, with evidence, that the answers the Chief Minister has been giving in the House do not stack up against the letter from the former Chief of Police, Graham Power, on 31 March 2010. On writing this blog, I feel in quite a reflective mood. I continually ask myself: "Why do I do it?" The first thought that always comes into my head is the child abuse scandal and the victims of child abuse. I have had some nice comments over the last couple of days encouraging me to keep going, but it goes without saying I will continue. Let's face it. All the childish rubbish thrown at me does not compare in the slightest with what some people went through in their childhoods and later in life in the care of the States of Jersey. I do not write this blog because I feel the need to attack people and nor do I believe that my blogs are a senseless attack on people. The people who I am trying to hold to account are the politicians and civil servants. I have far better things in my life. I write this blog because I care about the people who have suffered and the shocking state of our government. Threats and intimidation are things that go straight over my head. I want truth, honesty and integrity.
One of the most serious questions that must be asked is why our local media is such a lame duck. I just had to laugh about Channel TV having won a REGIONAL AWARD for not investigating a story, but simply telling a story. They get given a press release. They tell you the press release and "hey presto!" You've got a reward with not one single question having been asked. I hope some time in the future to concentrate some blog postings on the inability of our local media to pose any meaningful questions or hold any politician to account, with the exception of course of the Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret against whom they have set in motion not the "D Notice" but the all out "Destroy Notice". Some of the reporting of his Order of Justice I can guarantee you will be comical for the simple reason that none of the reporters, or their editors, will have a clue what any of it is about.
This could very well be my last blog on the Napier Terms of Reference. I am not sure what more I can do in this regard. I have put together an email and sent it to the relevant people. It is now up to the States Members if any, apart from the obvious ones, have the inclination to demand the answers. I would like to thank Senator Ferguson for being one of the first States Members to reply to me. I have given her stick in the past, but only because I believe she deserved it. This did not prevent her from giving me a civilised answer where others failed to even reply.
In the near future, I will be blogging on one of the most important elections facing Jersey in a very long time. All will be explained in the blogs.
Again, thank you for reading and for your kind words of encouragement.
I lay out the evidence below:
From: rico sorda
Subject: Very Grave Concerns Concerning the Reply of the Chief Minister in the States Chamber
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, B.Hill@gov.je, email@example.com, D.Wimberley@gov.je, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jl.Perchard@gov.je, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, A.Breckon@gov.je, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Date: Sunday, 16 January, 2011, 19:27
Dear Chief Minister, States Members and members of the press
I write to you as a member of the public, a constituent, concerned with the dropping of Part D in the terms of reference to the Napier Report.I have been researching the answers you have given to oral questions asked on 19 October 2010 and 30 November 2010 by the Deputy of St Martin, Bob Hill. What concerns me primarily is the answers that you have given as to the reasons for Part D having been dropped. I will lay out below the inconsistencies I have come across:
When R39/2010 was lodged on 15 April 2010, Part D was missing from the Terms of Reference.
The reason you gave for this in replying to Deputy Bob Hill's questions was that on 31 March 2010 the former Chief of Police, Graham Power, had confirmed that he would fully participate in the investigation and that this was before R39/2010 had been presented to the States. You also stated that there was agreement between Mr Power and Mr Napier concerning participation that would enable Mr Napier to gain full access to the information, again, you state this was before the 15th April 2010.
Through my investigations and correspondence with Graham Power, I have found your answers to the oral questions of Deputy Bob Hill to be misleading. I reproduce for you a letter from Graham Power dated 31 March 2010 to the Deputy Chief Executive, John Richardson. As you will note, Graham Power says he is prepared to take part in the Napier review, but is unsure of his position with regard to his, at the time, ongoing disciplinary process. Graham Power said "provided outstanding issues are resolved"
In view of the contents of Mr Power's letter, I would suggest it is heavily conditional on the clarification needed as to his position. I would therefore question how you have arrived at such a firm conclusion as to Mr Power's ability to cooperate before the lodging of R39 on 15 April 2010.
To support this further I will also raise some other points concerning Mr Power's participation in the Napier Review before 15 April 2010.
On 21 April, Mr Power received a letter from the Deputy Chief Executive, John Richardson dated 16 April 2010 in which Mr Richardson asks Mr Power if he is willing to meet Mr Napier. As you can see, this seriously conflicts with the answers you have been giving to Deputy Hill's oral questions in the States of Jersey.
This is a very serious issue because when delivering answers in the States Chamber, I believe the Chief Minister should be fully researched in what he is saying and not just rely on "advice". The reason for this is the simplicity of what is being asked and why it has gone so wrong.
The Deputy lodges a question and, on this particular subject, it would have gone to John Richardson. Mr Richardson then goes to his filing cabinet and extracts three letters. On the letter dated 31 March 2010 he realises that Graham Power has given no such confirmation as issued in the Chief Minister's replies. In the letter dated 16 April 2010 he would read that he is still not in receipt of Mr Power's confirmation. It is, in fact, not until 22 April 2010 that Mr Power offers the confirmation to the Deputy Chief Executive, despite many of his concerns remaining unanswered, and that he would meet with Brian Napier and asked that his contact details be passed on.
Chief Minister, could you please explain to me as a very concerned member of the public as to what is going on here? How can the passing of information go so wrong between you and your Deputy Chief Executive. Make no mistake, standing up in the States Chamber and misleading the house is a very serious issue. What I am now looking for is clarification from you and Deputy Chief Executive, John Richardson, that the former chief of police Graham Power would fully participate in the investigation prior to 15 April 2010.
I look forward to you clearing up these very serious concerns of a worried constituent.
Make no mistake I need "ANSWERS"
I reproduce the letter from Graham Power dated the 31st March 2010 and quotes from Hansard
On the 19th October 2010 in the States you said.....
2.9 The Deputy of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding the Terms of Reference relating to the former Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police’s sworn affidavit:
Will the Chief Minister inform Members why part (d) of the Terms of Reference relating to the former Police Chief’s sworn affidavit and published in the comments to P.9/2010 and in the Jersey Evening Post on 26th March 2010 was removed from the Napier Report, and who was responsible and, given the affidavit’s relevance to the suspension, why Members were not party to the decision to amend the terms?
Senator T.A. Le Sueur (The Chief Minister):
The original terms of reference were drafted at the time when it was not known whether the pervious Chief Officer of Police would participate in the review. As such, paragraph (d) deals in certain terms of reference as this sworn affidavit was a significant document available in the public domain that put across his version of events. When it was established that the previous Chief Officer of Police would fully participate in the investigation, Mr. Napier felt that he would be able to obtain all of the necessary information from the Chief Officer through formal interview (not true). Prior to the detailed investigation commencing, Mr. Napier discussed the relevance of the paragraph with the Deputy Chief Executive, who was overseeing the investigation on my behalf, and they agreed it was no longer required since the copy of the full affidavit was provided to Mr. Napier as part of his original briefing. Mr. Napier makes 3 references to the affidavit in his report, and I am totally satisfied that any relevant detail contained in the affidavit was fully considered by Mr. Napier in compiling his final report.
On the 30th November 2010 in the States you said....
2.9 Deputy F.J. Hill of St. Martin of the Chief Minister regarding the alteration of the Napier terms of reference:
It is a case of third time lucky; maybe this time. Given that the explanations given as to why and when the Napier terms of reference were altered to refer to decisions taken after R.39/2010 was presented to the States, will the Chief Minister inform Members when this was done and who was party to the decision and explain why he and the Deputy of St. Martin were not party to those discussions?
Senator T.A. Le Sueur (The Chief Minister):
In answer to the Deputy’s questions in October and November of this year, I referred to the changes that were made to the terms of reference and to the confirmation received from the former Chief of Police that he would fully participate in the investigation (not true). I do not recall making any reference to decisions being taken after R.39 was presented to the States. The former Chief of Police confirmed to the Deputy Chief Executive in a letter dated 31st March 2010 that he would fully participate in the investigation, that date being well before R.39 was presented to the States. Because there was agreement between Mr. Power and Mr. Napier concerning participation that would enable Mr. Napier to gain full access to information, there was no need to involve either myself or the Deputy of St. Martin. (not true)
As you can see Chief Minister your answers do not stack up. I now reproduce the Letter from Graham Power.
Graham Power did not say he would fully participate in the Napier review.
Graham Power did not have an agreement about Participation with Brian Napier
Mr John Richardson,
Chief Ministers Department,
Cyril Le Marquand House,
Dear Mr Richardson.
Appointment of Mr Brian Napier QC. Your letter dated 29th March 2010.
This letter is in response to the above letter which I received on 30th March 2010.
Your letter appears to be a response to my letter to you dated 25th February 2010 in which I asked for information regarding reports of some form of review in relation to my suspension, and sought clarification in respect of the confidentiality requirements of the Disciplinary Code and related issues. I note that it has taken you approximately five weeks to reply.
For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, it is my firm wish to assist Mr Napier with his review, provided that I am able to do so with a clear understanding of my position, and the evidential status of any information gathered by Mr Napier, while I am still subject to disciplinary notices.
In particular the following two issues remain to be resolved:
Whether any communication with Mr Napier, in itself, constitutes a breach of the confidentiality requirements of the code.
Given that I have been served with notices informing me that anything I say may be used in evidence, it is important to establish whether information gathered by Mr Napier may subsequently be used in disciplinary proceedings by either party. While I note what is said in Part 3 of the Terms of Reference, I am nevertheless aware that in matters of proceedings conducted under statute, there is no such thing as a “confidential report”.
In addition to the above, there are practical issues relating to my need to speak to Mr Napier in circumstances which allow me to have ready access to all of my files and records. It is also possible that I may wish to be accompanied at any meeting, or at the very least take professional advice before any meeting occurs. It is also possible that my Professional Association may wish to make representations in its own right. This can be decided once more is known of the review.
I hope that you are able to bring clarification to these issues in order that further consideration can be given to how I can most effectively assist with the review.
I recognise that my repeated request for clarification may present some difficulties with your intended timetable. If this proves to be the case then I would regard the problem as one which is entirely of your own making. Had my initial request for clarification been dealt with in a prompt manner such difficulties may not have arisen.
I look forward to hearing from you in order that I can give further consideration to how I can support the work of Mr Napier.
Having read this letter, could you please explain to me the answers you have been given concerning these issues. How has it gone so wrong between you and the Deputy Chief Executive.
Misleading the house is a very serious issue and I very much look forward to your response. I believe you might also want to check with John Richardson against the time line set out below from the former Chief Of Police Graham Power
Statement issued by Graham Power QPM. Retired Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police.
I have recently been contacted by a number of parties and requested to provide information regarding my knowledge of any changes to the terms of reference for the review of my suspension from duty in 2008. The review was conducted earlier this year by Mr Brian Napier QC who subsequently produced a report, commonly referred to as the “Napier Report.” I have been told there have been some political exchanges relating to an apparent change in the terms of reference for Mr Napier’s review, and that a dispute may have arisen in respect of when and by what means I agreed to participate in his work. Against this background I have agreed to provide further information in order to assist the democratic process.
The following account has been put together from my recollection of events, copies of correspondence which I have kept on file, and notes which I made of telephone conversations and meetings. I hope it is of assistance in bringing clarity to whatever issues are currently in dispute.
I have a copy of a letter dated 25th February 2010 from myself to the Deputy Chief Executive of the Chief Minister’s Department. The letter is headed “Reports of some form of enquiry into my suspension.” In the letter I say that I have heard indirectly that the Chief Minister has commissioned some form of review in respect of my suspension. I draw attention to the fact that there has been no communication with me about this matter and I ask for clarification as to the relationship between any enquiry and the Disciplinary Code for the Chief Officer of Police. In particular I draw attention to paragraph 1.2 of the Code which places a requirement of confidentiality upon all parties. I suggest that the proposed review appears to be contrary to the confidentiality requirement of the Code. I also raise the issue of whether any evidence gathered during the review will be liable to disclosure during any subsequent disciplinary proceedings. (In the event all disciplinary proceedings in my case were abandoned in July 2010 which was after Mr Napier had completed the interview phase of his review but prior to the publication of his report.)
It might be helpful at this time to draw attention to what I saw as the two principal difficulties arising from the proposed review, and how these difficulties arose from what appeared to be the incompatible requirements of the Chief Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs. As arrangements for the Napier review progressed I was in possession of two sets of correspondence. One set, issued on behalf of the Minister for Home Affairs, warned me that I was bound by strict rules of confidentiality in relation to the suspension and the disciplinary process. It also told me that anything I said may be used in evidence against me. Subsequent correspondence, issued on behalf of the Chief Minister, suggested that I should meet with Mr Napier and tell him everything. I believe that it was entirely legitimate for me to seek to reconcile these conflicting expectations, and to withhold any agreement to participate in the Napier review until these matters were resolved.
I did not receive a reply to my letter of 25th February until 30th March 2010 when a letter from the Deputy Chief Executive, dated 29th March 2010 was received enclosing the terms of reference for the Napier review. The terms of reference contained what I now understand to be the disputed part (d) which relates to aspects of my first affidavit. This is the only copy of the terms of reference I have in my possession. I received no correspondence or any contact whatsoever in relation to any proposal to remove part (d) from the terms of reference. Any consent which I subsequently gave to participate in the Napier review was based on the assumption that the terms of reference were those set out in the correspondence from the Deputy Chief Executive 29th March 2010 which included part (d).
In his letter dated 29th March 2010 the Deputy Chief Executive seeks to address the apparent conflict between the review and the confidentiality requirements of the Disciplinary Code by stating that parts of Mr Napier’s report will remain “confidential” until after disciplinary proceedings are concluded. He then asks me to state whether or not I will participate in the Napier review.
On 31st March 2010 I replied to the above letter. I stated that I wished to assist Mr Napier with his review provided outstanding issues are resolved. I then listed the issues which I considered to be outstanding. In my letter I acknowledge what has been said regarding part of the Napier report being regarded as confidential while disciplinary proceedings are live, but argue that this position is flawed on the basis that in any proceedings conducted under a statutory process there can be no such thing as a “confidential report.” (It would for example be open to either side in the process to apply for all of the report to be disclosed in the interests of a fair hearing.) My letter asks that the Deputy Chief Executive bring clarification to the outstanding issues in order that I can give further consideration to the matter. I am aware that a copy of my letter dated 31st March 2010 has entered the public domain.
My view of the above letter is that it makes it clear that any participation in the Napier review is conditional on outstanding issues being resolved to the satisfaction of myself and my professional advisors. I can think of no other reasonable interpretation. In particular I cannot see how it can be taken as giving an undertaking that I will participate in the review. Moreover, I note from subsequent correspondence that my interpretation of what my letter of 31st March 2010 is saying appears to have been shared at the time by the Chief Ministers Department.
On 21st April 2010 I received a letter from the Deputy Chief Executive dated 16th April 2010 which begins “I reply to your letter dated 31st March 2010.” The letter then goes on to refer to the issues which I raised in my letter and states “In your letter to me, you asked two specific questions which I will now answer in the order in which they were asked.” The letter then refers to matters which I have previously identified as obstacles to my participation in the Napier review and concludes “I hope this clarifies the points raised in your letter and look forward to receiving your confirmation that you will be in a position to meet Mr Napier during the course of his current investigation.” The meaning of this appears to me to be plain and obvious. The writer is seeking to resolve my concerns and is asking whether I am now willing to meet with Mr Napier. I can think of no other reasonable interpretation.
I replied to the above letter the following day (22nd April 2010.) I stated that although my concerns had not been fully addressed I am prepared to meet with Mr Napier, and I ask that he be given my contact details. My position is that my letter dated 22nd April 2010 constitutes my agreement to participate in the Napier review and that no agreement was given prior to that date.
It transpired that my letter of 22nd April crossed in the post with a further letter from the Deputy Chief Executive dated 21st April 2010. In that letter the writer appears to be under some pressure to resolve, one way or the other, whether I will agree to meet with Mr Napier. Among other things the letter states “I must now set a deadline for you to agree to interview.” I am asked to provide confirmation that I will attend for interview prior to 7th May 2010. I am told that if I do not confirm my agreement, Mr Napier will proceed on the basis of such information as is publicly available. It is clear from the tone and content of this letter that on 21st April 2010 the Chief Ministers Department remained unsure as to whether or not I would participate in the Napier review. I sent a reply dated 23rd April 2010 which drew attention to my letter of a few days previously. I also took the opportunity to draw attention to my prompt management of correspondence relating to the Napier review which contrasted with the delays and confusion emanating from the Chief Ministers Department.
I recall that this exchange was followed by some email contact with Mr Napier. I have a note of my first telephone conversation with him which was on the afternoon of 28th April 2010. The note indicates that we discussed arrangements for a meeting which were subsequently confirmed. I met with Mr Napier on 13th May 2010.
My meeting with Mr Napier was in the form of an interview in which he asked questions and I provided answers. In previous exchanges, and during the interview, he told me that he was in possession of all relevant papers relating to the issue, including the affidavit. I understood from our conversations that while he saw the written material as useful background reading, it was probable that his report would be largely based on material gathered during interviews. The questions asked of me during the interview were mostly about the matters which subsequently appeared in his report. I had some further exchanges with Mr Napier but these were entirely about corrections to a typed draft transcript of the interview which he had provided. There were no subsequent discussions of matters of substance.
I have been asked if I will comment on what I see as the consequences of the removal of part (d) from the terms of reference. It is not possible for me to know how Mr Napier would have approached his task had the original terms of reference been in place. It is however possible that had part (d) not been removed there may have been a need to comment in more detail on the events described in my Affidavit which took place some time prior to my suspension, but which may nevertheless have been influential in the decision to suspend. These include my refusal to participate in what I saw as a Civil Service led attempt to remove a Minister from office, and other incidents, described in the affidavit, which were a cause of tension between what I saw as my professional obligation to maintain a politically independent Police Service, and the priorities of some of those in senior positions who had a more politicised agenda. Investigation of these incidents may have created a need to interview additional witnesses. However, without knowing the views of Mr Napier it is not possible to be certain on these matters.
I hope that the above information is helpful in assisting those who have an interest in the Napier review, its terms of reference, and the process by which those terms of reference were changed.
Friday 10th December 2010.
If this e-mail has been sent in error, please notify us immediately and delete this document. Please note the legal disclaimer which appears at the end of this message.
Dear Mr. Sorda,
I am satisfied that nothing has occurred which could in any way prejudice the position of the former Chief Officer of Police in relation to the enquiry by Mr. Napier. May I also refer you to the answer to the written question which I tabled this morning and which I reproduce here (amended only to reflect the correct report number).
Terry Le Sueur
As you can see, the Chief Ministers has not answered any of the issues I have raised.
Below is an email the the Deputy of St Martin sent the Chief Minister in reply to my concerns
From: Bob Hill
Subject: FW: Very Grave Concerns Concerning the Reply of the Chief Minister in the States Chamber
To: "Terry Le Sueur"
Cc: "rico sorda"
Date: Wednesday, 19 January, 2011, 23:08
I note your exchange with Mr Sorda. I also note that you have given him a copy of the written answers. I am sure that you are aware that the email mentioned is a very selective and it is a pity that the whole of the email was not included because it would be evident to readers that the decision to delete part (d) was not Mr Napier's and he did not want to be party to changing his terms of reference as he did not think it appropriate, although he had no objection to the amendment being made by those instructing him he would be entirely happy working to the amended terms. He was being paid to do a job and understandably was not going to question the reasons for the removal of part of the TOR because it reduced the number of people he had to see. That of course was the reason why part (d) was removed and I was not informed. You claim that not telling me "seemed reasonable," had I been consulted, as I should have been, I certainly would not have given my consent and that is why I was not consulted. The decision meant that people like Wendy Kinnard were not interviewed nor others mentioned in the affidavit. Members were entitled to know whether the Home Affairs Minister was aware that steps were being taken to suspend Mr Power weeks before she resigned.
Any one who is familiar with the matter will have great difficulty in accepting, without question, the answers given in the written and oral questions. No wonder Mr Sorda is mystified with the written answers because they do not tally with the answers given to three sets of oral questions asked before Christmas. For example in the answer to question (b) the date when Mr Richardson told Mr Napier to drop part (d) is again conveniently omitted. In answer to an oral you informed States Members that the discussion took place following Mr Power's letter dated 30th March in which it is claimed that Mr Power had agreed to participate in the review. That is not correct because in that letter Mr Power did not agree. I am aware that some of the questions have not been adequately answered however the answers provided are typical of the way you have responded to States Members, your lack of courtesy is most worrying and again ask why you find it so difficult to give straight answers to straight questions?
Deputy F. J. (Bob) Hill, BEM.,
Deputy of St Martin.
I then tried the Deputy of St John and all credit it to him he did reply:
From: Philip Rondel
Sent: 19 January 2011 19:52
To: Bob Hill
Subject: FW: RE: Very Grave Concerns Concerning the Reply of the Chief Minister in the States Chamber
Had this from Rico Sorda , are you taking any action re the C/ministers response.
I was going to print the written answers to Deputy Hills question on this posting but will leave it for the comment section. The part I will reproduce is this bit.
This part was fundamental to the questions I was asking the Chief Minister. This is the one part I was trying to get an answer for and then it appears in a written question.
Guess what part in Bobs 5 part written question didn't get answered. Go on have a guess.
Yup it was part (B)
b) what was to be achieved by deleting part (d) and what date in April 2010 was it decided?
All we can do is keep going. The questions will keep getting asked
Truth Honesty and Integrity
I will leave you with this
Ozouf or Le Marquand for Chief Minister
Think about that and think about it carefully.
Walker, Le Suer and now what.
Make no mistake we are neck deep in the Sh*t
Yup Say no More