PSC plans to fire Wendell Robinson

Police Commissioner Wendel Robinson

Suspended Commissioner of Police Wendell Robinson will know his fate by the end of October.

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has provided details for Robinson on the various reasons why it “is minded to terminate your service as Commissioner of Police in the public interest.”

In a four-page letter signed by attorney Kelvin John, Commission Chairman, the PSC said chief among these reasons are Robinson’s “temperament and what appears to be a very fructuous (sic) relationship with the Minister with responsibility for the police.”

The correspondence lists a number of steps, legal and otherwise, taken by Robinson in response to alleged requests and actions of the Minister Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin.

According to the letter, among other things, Robinson went as far as alleging that Benjamin had made amendments to the liquor licensing law because he, Robinson, had refused to grant a licence to one Rey John, the proprietor of a well-known bar in St. John’s.

On account of this and other matters included in affidavits he filed in court, the Commission tells Robinson, who is, himself, a lawyer: “You do not possess the suitability of temperament that accords with the office of Commissioner of Police.”

Regarding to the apparent hostilities between Robinson and Benjamin, the Commission writes: “Your relationship with the Minister is such that your ability to effectively perform your duties is severely compromised….”

The embattled Commissioner has been invited – along with his legal counsel – to an October 25 meeting with the PSC, “on the question of your continuation in office as Commissioner of Police.”

A “final determination on the matter” will be made by October 31, 2019, the letter concludes.

Robinson has been on suspension since April 2018; and, before and after that date, several legal actions were filed and counter-filed on the matter of an earlier suspension, largely based on accusations of sexual harassment made by male junior officers.

After Robinson’s suspensions, Assistant Commissioner Atlee Rodney assumed the role of Acting Head of the Police Force.