Mystery surrounds the apparent firing of the St. Kitts and Nevis superintendent of Her Majesty’s Prison Junie “Scrape” Hodge, who served less two years in the job.
Hodge, who is on vacation, spoke with the Observer saying he attended a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty who informed him verbally that he must not return to work.
Why is a mystery except Hodge said that the reason Petty gave was “that the relationship between me (Hodge) and the senior officers is untenable.”
“Me and Mr. Petty spoke Friday (November 24). He told me that he was advised, and he was instructed to inform me that when my vacation expired I must not return there. So I told him that I need that in writing. He said that he would like to meet with me on the 4th (December) and he will give it to me in writing.” Hodge said.
On February 1 2016 Hodge was deemed the most suitable candidate to fill the post of Superintendent of Prisons and was appointed to the post.
Petty then said Hodge was found to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the Prison Act and the issues that perplex the Prison system at this time and that Hodge was able to give insight into what actions he felt were necessary to bring about improvement and/or systemic and structural changes at Her Majesty’s Prison.
As early as this past October rumors circulated that Hodge had been dismissed from his post, but he quickly denied this saying there is no truth to the rumors and as far as he knew he was still the Superintendent of Prisons. He also noted that he did not receive any letter from any individual indicating that he was terminated.
The Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Hon Timothy Harris during his weekly press conference when questioned by the media said that he knew nothing about the dismissal of Hodge.
“As far as I am aware he is still the Superintendent of the Prisons and of course he has applied for and is on vacation leave. I can’t comment on any matter in relation to him at this moment in time,” PM Harris said.