Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy has recommended that former Chief of the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) Leslie Fontenelle “retire in the public’s interest.”
Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Wilburne King has said that this decision was made based on recommendations from the PSC, which were submitted to the Governor General.
He said an inquiry done by the PSC concluded that there was enough evidence against the embattled fire official to warrant his “retirement.”
“The Governor General is the one who has the authority to take the action. This was arrived at after a very long and deliberate process, where we invited witnesses and Fontenelle and his lawyer,” King said.
The PSC chairman noted that while Fontenelle has been sent on early retirement, he may want to use his talents and explore other opportunities, given that he has excellent work experience.
While Fontenelle did not want to comment on the retirement issue, he told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today that he remains an adviser at Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA).
The former fire chief was appointed aircraft rescue and fire fighting adviser at SLASPA in early 2014, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony.
Between 2008 and 2014 the SLFS had several disruptions in its operations, which included crippling incidents of industrial action taken by members of the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA).
Those were prompted by a 2014 inquiry commissioned into the conduct of Fontenelle and other senior officers, which confirmed allegations of intimidation, abuse of authority and mismanagement.