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Court gives former Seaforth High principal further stay of dismissal order

Published:Friday | December 8, 2023 | 10:06 AM
Thomas was sent a letter in June this year stating he was being dismissed effective September 30 for neglect of duty and professional misconduct.

Dismissed principal of Seaforth High School in St Thomas Calbert Thomas has been given a further stay of execution to January 24 next year, barring the institution's Board of Management from filling the vacancy.

The stay was granted by Justice Kissock Laing when the matter came before him for an inter-partes hearing in chambers at the Court of Appeal.

However, the hearing had to be put off on Tuesday because the Attorney General's Chambers, which is representing the Board, had failed to abide by a court order to file and serve submissions before November 27.

The judge has now ordered that full submissions and authorities must be filed on or before January 5.

Thomas had applied to the Supreme Court for an order for judicial review of the decision to fire him because he was not given a fair hearing.

The judge, in dismissing the application, pointed out that Thomas did not avail himself of or exhausted the statutory appellate process.

Thomas, who is being represented by attorney-at-law, Keith Bishop is appealing the order that dismissed his application.

Several charges were levelled at Thomas which include failure to monitor internal control, lack of adequate segregation of duties, lack of regular checks and balances with respect to the bursar and making payment of salary and other emoluments to academic and administrative staff without prior approval from the Ministry.

A meeting was held and a decision taken by the Board that he should be dismissed.

He was sent a letter in June this year stating he was being dismissed effective September 30 for neglect of duty and professional misconduct.

Thomas had served the school for 33 years and was appointed principal in 2018.

- Barbara Gayle

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