The article below is a press release submitted by the United Workers Party
Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Stephenson King, categorically denies the need to apologise to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Peter Foster, regarding the contents of a letter addressed to Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, on matters pertaining to the appointment of Counsel to the Commission of Inquiry into the St. Lucia Fire Service.
Mr. King stated that the issues raised in his letter referred to concerns surrounding the accountability and transparency of good governance and were issues which needed clarification in the public interest.
Mr. King reiterates that his letter to the Prime Minister was based on a number of infractions of the law, as it relates to the delay in the commencement of the proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry. Mr. King further stated that the delay appeared to have resulted “… out of a conflict of interest on the part of the Speaker” who is himself a member of the House of Assembly and legal counsel for DBS, “…one of the several media houses against whom the Chief Fire Officer has filed cases for defamation of character”.
It is noteworthy that in his reply, Mr. Foster immediately attempted to extricate himself from the situation by saying that the Prime Minister had not contacted him, but rather Miss St. Rose, as if Miss St. Rose was divorced from his Chambers and hence, they were not one and the same! It is also interesting, that despite some 250 lawyers available in Saint Lucia for consideration, the Prime Minister chose to engage the services of an Associate of Mr. Foster’s Chambers, who is known for working side by side with him in court.
It is insultive to the public, and in fact no child would believe that when the appointment was made, that Mr. Foster ought not to have seen that this was not an appointment to have been accepted, being the experienced lawyer that he is. The Prime Minister needs to therefore tell the nation, whether he believes Mr. Foster’s story when he says, that his Chambers withdrew at some point, given the fact that the withdrawal took place sometime after the appointment.
Mr. Foster, when questioned by media personnel, admitted to having had a conversation with Mr. Michael Gordon. It therefore begs the question, why did the Speaker have to speak with Mr. Gordon, when Mr. Gordon had nothing to do with the appointment of his chambers as Counsel to the Commission?
Notwithstanding the withdrawal of Miss St. Rose, as Counsel to the Commission of Inquiry, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Foster QC, is still accountable to the people of Saint Lucia, and must answer to the two issues:
1. Conflict of interest; and
2. A contract with the Government.