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Evans is ‘confused, angry and upset’

  • Freddie Evans (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Freddie Evans is said to be “confused, upset and angry” at having received no confirmation as to whether he can return to work as Commissioner of Education.

This is according to his lawyer Mark Diel of Marshall Diel & Myers, who told The Royal Gazette the Ministry of Education had still not been in touch to clarify its position.

Dr Evans was informed by the ministry last week that he had been removed from the job. However, after a backlash from Dr Evans over procedure, the Public Service Commission sent a letter to Mr Diel and Ministry of Education permanent secretary Valerie Robinson-James to say “an administrative error” in correspondence to Dr Evans meant he had not been fired. However, the letter added “nor has he been confirmed in his post”.

Mr Diel told The Royal Gazette: “Has Dr Evans been approached by the ministry as to him going back to work? We can say no.” Asked how his client was feeling with regard to the whole situation, Mr Diel responded: “Confused, upset and angry.”

Dr Evans could now be eligible for a payout in damages from the Government.

Mr Diel has been instructed to issue proceedings against the ministry and Governor John Rankin for declarations that Dr Evans had not been “relieved of his responsibilities”.

Dr Evans has not returned to work since the initial announcement was made last Monday.

Mr Diel claims that Dr Evans’s contract makes clear that the only person who can remove him is the Governor and that it must be done during his probationary period.

Mr Diel said that period ended on September 30.

Mr Diel has also been instructed to issue proceedings for libel against the ministry and the permanent secretary.

Government House has so far also failed to respond to questions surrounding who had the power to fire Dr Evans, whether a letter of termination had been sent to him and when his probation period expired.

The Ministry of Education said it would not comment on the matter at present.

Richard Horseman has been retained by the PSC to provide legal assistance.

Meanwhile, shadow education minister Cole Simons issued a lengthy statement yesterday evening describing the course of events as “very disheartening and unfortunate”.

Mr Simons criticised the lack of response from the ministry asking: “What have they done to remediate this matter and bring it to a conclusion? It appears they would rather sit back and watch the very unfortunate matter unfold to the detriment of our students and the delivery of education services.”

Mr Simons also questioned the performance report written up for Dr Evans adding: “Was the commissioner positioned to succeed?

“When the commissioner took on the role, why was he not provided with a proper professional development plan? In addition, why during the probationary period was he given positive interim performance reports, which were presented to the Public Service Commission, but when it came to the final assessment, he was deemed to be woefully lacking?

“What event or events took place that led to this unfavourable appraisal?”