Government drops its appeal case against National Detective Lewis

PHILIPSBURG–After Detective Lyndon Lewis Jr. took the Minister of Justice to court for his correct position and salary scales as a Police Inspector at the National Detective Agency, former Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo placed Lewis on a paid leave of absence on April 7, 2016, awaiting a judicial decision in the proceedings Lewis had filed.

Kirindongo further explained in his memo that the final decision of Judge would be respected.
Detective Lewis won his case on August 22, 2016, for his position as a Police Inspector at the National Detective Agency as per December 1, 2014.
Kirindongo went against his agreement to respect final decision of the judge and appealed the judgement of August 22, 2016 in the Court of Appeals in Curaçao on September 21, 2016, which extended Lewis’ paid leave of absence.

Current Minister of Justice Raphael Boasman gave the pending case to the Legal Department and it was handled by his Task Force charged with looking at civil cases against Government. The end result of the Task Force effort led to the cancellation of the appeal case that was not yet scheduled to be handled.

In the verdict, the judge ruled that the Minister of Justice has to apply the claims Lewis made to the Governor in his administrative appeal where he pointed out that he was not a Police Major, but instead took the oath before the former Minister of Justice in December 2014 as Police Inspector attached to the National Detectives and as such the Minister of Justice has to destroy the current LB he has on file for Lewis, make a new one where he is a Police Inspector and pay him what is owed to him retroactively to 2014.

The Minister of Justice was also condemned to pay the court costs that Lewis endured.
The Judge outlined all the findings and even showed how Landsrecherche head Ademar Doran had contradicted himself when he said in court that Lewis was not qualified for the job and he required training. However, Doran had signed a letter after Lewis was selected by the selection committee in 2014 stating that Lewis was qualified to hold the function as Police Inspector.

Another point Doran raised is that the function scale 10 is just a concept and not something that is signed off by Government. However, the court ruled that if that function scale has been used in the past and it is in the best interest of the people, then Government has to continue using the concept.
The 12-page verdict showed how Lewis had built up his career ever since he was hired as a police officer.

Lewis said he is happy that he can finally put this issue behind him and focus on working for his country. He added that he still believes in the system and the Minister of Justice. He also made clear that he will continue to defend the people of St. Maarten in the area of law enforcement.

Lewis is currently a candidate on the United St. Maarten Party list for the February 26, election for the Parliament of St. Maarten.

Source: The Daily Herald