DPP Wants Almost Half Million Dollars Settle? LK Hewlett Story Updated: September 21st 2015 at 12:30 pm
AG says they will consider a reasonable figure DPP Travers Sinanan reportedly wants almost half a million EC dollars to settle his employment dispute lawsuit against the Attorney General. According to a well placed source, Sinanan wants approximately two and a half years’ pay to drop the suit set to go to trial Monday (Sept 21). His monthly salary and allowances, which The Observer understands he is still receiving, for that period would add up to over $460,000. It would mean the government would essentially be paying Sinanan a salary and perks until he is 60. The Observer was told by a government source shortly after Sinanan sued AG Vincent Byron Jr. for “attempting to unlawfully terminate” his services in August, that the settlement figure Sinanan had demanded was “ridiculous”, and the individual indicated that the government would not settle on those terms. When the matter came up for trial on Monday (Sept 14), attorneys for the two sides engaged in negotiation discussions in court. Dr. Francis Alexis QC, was lead counsel for the DPP while Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes led for the AG. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and AG Byron were present in court and engaged with the two attorneys in the negotiation. AG Byron told the media after that the matter would proceed to trial since they could not agree on mutually acceptable settlement conditions. The Observer questioned why the government waited until the trial to try to settle, after stating that it is their case Sinanan does not still hold the position and is entitled by the constitution to remain in the post until he reaches 60years. He is now over 57. The Attorney General said settlement discussions were undertaken to get a speedy resolution to the matter, as was advised by his counsel. “Settlements can happen at any time…at the start, in the middle, and I suppose the pressure of the hearing could be one reason,” he said. “It’s not that we have been sitting down waiting [for attorney to arrive], we have made preparations in absentia but the pressure of the matter…It does help the whole legal process, saves the court’s time, saves costs, and so we can get a resolution and not have things drag on and have certainty when it comes to our criminal justice system.” In order to arrive at that resolution, he pointed out, it does not mean the government will agree to “any and anything”. “We are very conscious that we have to account to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and so we want to get a determination of the matter, a settlement that is just, at least that is reasonable in the circumstances.”