Jersey's 'secrecy culture' led to my suspension, says former police chief
Graham Power claims he was punished for daring to investigate allegations against some of the island's power players
Helen Pidd in St Helier
The Guardian, Thursday 28 June 2012 19.00 BST
As Power sees it, his suspension was a punishment for daring to challenge Jersey's "secrecy culture" by investigating serious allegations made against some of the island's power players. Worse, by allowing Harper to talk freely to the media during the investigation, both men were damaging Jersey's reputation abroad – a nightmare for a small place with an economy so dependent on foreign finance that it as Power claims, had a "heightened sensitivity to reputational damage". Or as the Liberal MP John Hemming puts it: "I think he was suspended because he was too ethical. That is very worrying."
On Tuesday this week, politicians in the States of Jersey, the island's parliament, debated behind closed doors whether Andrew Lewis, the minister responsible for Power's suspension, had misled States members as to the reasons why he removed Power from office.
The deputy who demanded the debate, Mike Higgins, said disclosure was needed to "right a wrong". He wanted the parliament to agree to release a transcript of a States session held "in camera" shortly after Power's suspension, in which Lewis gave what Higgins believes is a misleading statement relating to Power's suspension.
But at the closed session on Tuesday, States members voted to keep the transcript secret.
Power was never found guilty of any charges of misconduct, and remained on full pay throughout his two-year suspension, which lasted until his retirement in July 2010. Contacted by the Guardian this week, Lewis insisted the reasons for suspending Power were "compelling". He said: "The act of suspension was fully in line with the disciplinary code and was a neutral act in order to give the chief officer sufficient time to defend his position uncompromised by the constraints of office." He could not go into more detail about the evidence which led him to suspend Power, he said, because he was "bound by the confidentiality requirements in the chief police officer's discipline code." He strongly rejected any allegations of a conspiracy.
Bailache, now an elected politician in the States of Jersey, was one of 19 MPs who on Tuesday voted " against " holding the "in camera" debate on whether Lewis as home affairs minister misled the States over Power's suspension. He is also known to have opposed the committee of inquiry soon to be set up to investigate how so many children being looked after by the Jersey authorities were abused.
Two years ago, a QC from the mainland, Brian Napier, was commissioned to produce an independent report into Power's ousting. He found no evidence of any conspiracy, but ruled that the suspension could not be justified by hard evidence.http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/jun/28/jersey-secrecy-culture
Although this is an old article from the nationally and internationally accredited Guardian newspaper and the Jersey's citizen's media in particular Rico Sorda, Stuart Syvret and VFC Neil McMurray researched and wrote about it in detail, in my humble opinion, this article sums it up why the Jersey's Council of Ministers (CoM) have to leave and even been made accountable for their cover ups and lies as they have done everything to avoid to be transparent and honest to the Jersey people.
This article is a quick reminder why this election is so important in order to vote out the CoM which supports the Jersey's secrecy culture and defy the real meaning of justice and democracy.
If you want to see who voted against a transparent debate regarding the suspension of police chief officer Graham Power then see below and you will recognise politicians who want to be re-elected and think again, if you can ever trust them.http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/Pages/Votes.aspx?VotingId=1318
Vote date: 21/01/2009 Reference: P.182/2008 Proposition: Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police: review of procedure regarding suspension.(42 kb)
Senator Stuart Syvret Pour
Senator Alan Breckon Pour
Connétable Alan Simon Crowcroft Pour
Connétable John Martin Refault Pour
Connétable Deirde Wendy Mezbourian Pour
Deputy Robert Charles Duhamel Pour
Deputy Frederick John Hill, B.E.M Pour
Deputy Roy George Le Hérissier Pour
Deputy Judith Ann Martin Pour
Deputy Geoffrey Peter Southern Pour
Deputy Carolyn Fiona Labey Pour
Deputy Paul Francis Vincent le Claire Pour
Deputy Shona Pitman Pour
Deputy Montfort Tadier Pour
Deputy Daniel John Arabin Wimberley Pour
Deputy Trevor Mark Pitman Pour
Deputy Tracey Anne Vallois Pour
Deputy Michael Roderick Higgins Pour
Deputy Andrew Kenneth Francis Green, M.B.E. Pour
Deputy Deborah Jane De Sousa Pour
Deputy Jeremy Martin Maçon Pour
Senator Terence Augustine Le Sueur Contre
Senator Paul Francis Routier, M.B.E. Contre
Senator Philip Francis Cyril Ozouf Contre
Senator Ben Edward Shenton Contre
Senator Frederick Ellyer Cohen Contre
Senator James Leslie Perchard Contre
Senator Sarah Craig Ferguson Contre
Senator Alan John Henry Maclean Contre
Senator Brian Ian Le Marquand Contre
Connétable Kenneth Priaulx Vibert Contre
Connétable John Le Sueur Gallichan Contre
Connétable Daniel Joseph Murphy Contre
Connétable Michael Keith Jackson Contre
Connétable Graeme Frank Butcher Contre
Connétable Peter Frederick Maurice Henning Contre
Connétable Leonard Norman Contre
Connétable Juliette Gallichan Contre
Deputy John Benjamin Fox Contre
Deputy James Gordon Reed Contre
Deputy Collin Hedley Egré Contre
Deputy Jacqueline Ann Hilton Contre
Deputy John Alexander Nicholas Le Fondré Contre
Deputy Anne Enid Pryke Contre
Deputy Sean Power Contre
Deputy Kevin Charles Lewis Contre
Senator Ian Joseph Gorst Contre
Deputy Angela Elizabeth Jeune Contre
Deputy Anne Teresa Dupre Contre
Deputy Edward James Joel Contre
Connétable Philip John Rondel Abstained
Connétable Silvanus Arthur Yates Not present for vote
Senator Terence John Le Main défaut
See below vote: Another revelation or perhaps no surprises here?
Vote for Statement made ‘in camera’ on 2nd December 2008: release of transcript (P.48/2012) - proposition of Deputy Higgins to debate the remainder of the matter 'in camera'.
Vote date: 26/06/2012 Reference: P.48/2012 Proposition: Statement made ‘in camera’ on 2nd December 2008: release of transcript.(17 kb)http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/Pages/Votes.aspx?VotingId=2523