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PSU President Says the PM Did Not Call any Public Officer

The Forest Officer who reportedly was rude to the Prime Minister remains on administrative leave tonight. The letter sent to the forest officer on April 27 says (quote) “the purpose of this administration leave is as a result of your failure to act in a professional manner..” (end of quote). Prime Minister John Briceno is accusing the forest officer of being rude and hanging up the phone on him. PM Briceno had reportedly called the officer with the request to have plants imported by Diani Chan of Botanical Gardens by Roselynn released. The officer refused because some of the plant species required CITES documentation. Tonight, President of the Public Service Union Dean Flowers is reacting to the latest developments. Flowers who anticipated some sort of punishment says the letter is riddled with procedural errors.

Dean Flowers, President of PSU: “I believe the CEO is also a doctor and in addition to being a doctor, he has two administrative officers within his ministry and I would have hoped that when you put the three heads together, they would have gotten the initial letter outright but I will limit my comment to that. Simply state that from the onset there are fundamental issues with the letter that was served to bother Chi. I cannot comment further on it because if it is that they believe that this is something that they can take to the Commission then we will of course do as we always do, point out your incompetence and walk out of that room in a matter of minutes as was recently the case with the case brought against the sister from the Magistrates court by the Attorney General’s ministry.”

According to Flowers, the county was misled when the Prime Minister said that the officer hung up the phone on him. Flowers explains that the Prime Minister did not call any government worker. He called Chan’s mother-in-law.

Dean Flowers, President of PSU: “I want to clarify that at no point in time did Mr. Chi have any phone in his possession. I want to state categorically that at no point in time did the Prime Minister call Mr. Chi on his phone and spoke to Mr. Chi on Mr. Chi’s phone. Neither did the Prime Minister call any other law enforcement agency that was there to speak with them or to speak with Mr. Chi. Mr. Chi had no phone in his possession, in his hands. As a matter of fact, his hands were occupied with removing the illegal plants. I can only imagine the reaction of the Hon. Minister of Public Service when he hears his Cabinet colleagues speaking this way, when he and his CEO is working arduously to try to change the culture in the public service. I mean, it’s really really unfortunate and I hope that as the Minister of Public Service with responsibility for all public officers that he will condemn the words of the Minister of Agriculture and by extension the Prime Minister, who suggested that these kinds of behaviours at times are motivated because people want to be paid.”