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Lawyer: ‘We’re going to fight’ as OAG pulls settlement

Retired commissioner of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Charles Murphy.

Retired commissioner of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Charles Murphy.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

Ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

ROMONA Farquharson Seymour said the Office of the Attorney General has rescinded its offer to settle Corrections Commissioner Charles Murphy’s lawsuit against the government, declaring: “We’re gonna fight.”

The Tribune reported on Wednesday that Commissioner Murphy and his lawyer were reviewing the offer before a July trial.

The settlement agreement would mark the first time a high-profile public official has settled with the government following actions taken by the Davis administration. All previous settlements within the last year came from lawsuits launched under the Minnis administration.

“I received the call from the Attorney General’s Office that they have received instruction to rescind the offer. I told (the woman) I’m not surprised,” Mrs Farquharson Seymour said yesterday.

“It does not appear or seem that the Attorney General is in control. I wouldn’t talk about the Prime Minister who is constantly out of the jurisdiction. He needs to get back home. He needs to know what’s happening.”

Mrs Farquharson Seymour had said the offer was in line with the OAG’s awards to other prominent officials who sued the government in recent years, something she discovered after talking to other lawyers.

However, she said Commissioner Murphy’s case is unique because of certain “aggravating situations” that occurred, namely, National Security Minister Wayne Munroe’s comments about Mr Murphy.

 Asked if she believes Wednesday’s article in The Tribune prompted the OAG to pull the offer, she said: “I don’t know. I gather (someone) must have been upset by it for us to dare to suggest that Mr Murphy ought to be entitled to more damages than others.”

“We’ll do our talking in court. We’re gonna fight.”

Commissioner Murphy was sent on administrative leave in September 2021 so officials could investigate the case of Prescott Smith, who was imprisoned in possible breach of a Supreme Court order.

Mr Munroe later said an inquiry into several matters involving the commissioner would occur, including his handling of a prisoner who contracted COVID-19.

Mr Munroe’s involvement in sidelining Commissioner Murphy was scrutinised because his law firm represented Acting Commissioner Doan Cleare and Deputy Commissioner Bernadette Thompson-Murray when they sued the government under the Minnis administration for being forced on vacation leave.

The Commissioner has not been back on the job since he was sent on administrative leave and is now on pre-retirement vacation.

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 year, 1 month ago

The lawyer how was Mr Murphy damaged ? She is on the attack the PM and Mr pinder , Mr Munroe was at some time a private citizen what he did then can not be a part of this case

birdiestrachan 1 year, 1 month ago

He forced others to go on vacation leave,

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