Explain and present. Attorney Larry Lalla has called out the new Police Service Commission (PolSC) on behalf of former police commissioner Gary Griffith regarding retired Justice Stanley John’s report alleging there was a “well oiled white collar criminal enterprise” on granting Firearms Users’ Licences in Police Service.
Lalla particularly queried the report since he said Griffith didn’t get a chance to respond to allegations against him. The previous Police Service Commission in 2021 mandated John to examine FULs matters. The Express last weekend published aspects of the report.
Lalla wrote new PolSC chairman Judith Jones on Wednesday.
He said, “We have serious concerns based on this article, and the contents therein.”
He said there have been recent comments by a senior Government minister confirming a copy of the report was sent to the National Security Council.
“This probably explains the source and motive of the leak but if this is true, the question arises how could the John report, being a report commissioned by the PolSC, an independent body under the Constitution, make its way to the National Security Council, a sub-committee of the Government?
“And how could this take place before the PolSC communicates with my client on same, he being the substantive holder of the office of Commissioner of Police at the time covered by the report?
“On its face, doesn’t this lead to an inference of bias/improper motive/malintent/a breach of due process by the maker of the report?” Lalla asked.
Lalla said that since John’s report has been submitted and received by the commission, and found its way to the media, with “very serious and damning allegations” being made against Griffith in his professional capacity, in the interest of fairness, he was requesting a copy, so he could advise Griffith on any appropriate cause of action whether via judicial review or defamation against persons publishing it.
Lalla said assuming the contents of the report as recently published are accurate, “Mr. Justice John proceeded in his report to make findings of improper and even criminal conduct against my client, without affording Mr Griffith or paying due regard to Mr Griffith’s basic due process rights.”
Lalla said before John could have come to the findings/conclusions that he did against Griffith, the findings/conclusions ought to have been presented to Griffith with reasonable opportunity to respond—but this wasn’t done.
He also cited the September 18, 2021 letter from John to Griffith, in response to a request from Griffith, where John specifically stated, “I wish to reiterate that my remit does not involve an investigation into your good self as COP (acting) nor any police officer.”
Lalla added, “We were therefore flabbergasted to see the thrust and extent of the findings/conclusions that Mr. Justice John made in his report against the former commissioner of police, as published.”