Former prison director Rohan, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong’ | THE DAILY HERALD

Edward Rohan (File photo)

PHILIPSBURG–“I have done nothing wrong. They destroy so much: your family, your relationship. What should I live on? Do you know how pissed off I am? The public needs to know this. It does not make any sense.

It is not right. It’s really not right,” former director of the Point Blanche prison Edward Rohan said Sunday in response to the judgement of the Council of Appeals in Civil Service Affairs which stated on Wednesday, May 24, that he had been lawfully fired by the governor of St. Maarten in 2021.

Rohan has more that 23 years of service in the legal system under his belt, but was dismissed by the governor as per January 11, 2021, after the Court of First Instance sentenced him on February 21, 2018, to 160 days, 80 of which were suspended, on two years’ probation, for complicity in electoral fraud and violation and of his duty of confidentiality.

The interim prison director was found guilty of providing then-Member of Parliament Silvio Matser with a list of eligible voters among the prison population in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary election.

The Court of Appeals confirmed the two-month prison sentence on November 15, 2021, but acquitted Rohan of complicity in electoral fraud and only found violation of his pledge of secrecy as a civil servant proven.

Rohan filed for a final appeal with the Supreme Court because he maintains his innocence. He has not done anything wrong and has been wrongly dismissed, he claims. His lawyer in the Netherlands has submitted the necessary documents, but it is not yet known when the Supreme Court will hear his final appeal.

According to Rohan, he cannot be convicted of violation of his duty of confidentiality because he was never sworn in due to the quick succession of government coalitions. He further claimed that he could not be terminated because he has not yet been irrevocably convicted.

“I came to St. Maarten because I wanted to help building the country, but now I am being dragged through the mud. How can I be dismissed while I filed a final appeal? I was acquitted of the serious crime of bribery. They could also have given me a slap on the wrist. How is this possible? How am I supposed to move on with my life? I feel like I’m being taken hostage.”

He was hired as security manager at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) in April 2021. “A very nice job. I was already hired, but I was turned down because of my conviction,” Rohan said.

The Council of Appeals in Civil Service Affairs heard his case November 23, 2022. To give Rohan the opportunity to request that the governor reconsider his position in his case in view of the verdict rendered by the Appellate Court, the Council suspended the hearing.

On April 26, 2023, the governor made it known that due to internal circumstances at the Ministry of Justice, it was not possible to consider whether the court documents led to a different position in this case. On hearing this, the Council of Appeals closed the case and rendered judgment.

According to Rohan, he did not do anything wrong in making a list of eligible voters available to a political candidate. “It was common practice among my predecessors to hand out voters lists to political candidates, but besides that, as prison director I house inmates, the prison is their address. The Census Office does not know who all are incarcerated and eligible to vote.

“According to the Census Office, there is no breach of secrecy. I can just hand over a list of prisoners, and election candidates can come to the prison to campaign there and talk to inmates. I cannot refuse them entry or interfere with the election process at the Point Blanche prison, which is polling station number 13. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Source: The Daily Herald