Easing Chief Justice Simmons Out The Door… er, Making Him Declare He Is Ready For “Retirement”
Two of the same sources who correctly informed us 48 hours ahead of anyone else about the date and time of Hammie La’s leaving the Barbados Labour Party to sit as an independent are now saying that the Thompson Government is in talks with Barbados Chief Justice Sir David Simmons about a timeline for his replacement.
According to one of our sources though, the discussions are “delicate” and not progressing very well at all. (Which is perhaps why this story was leaked to BFP.) Sir David is a strong person who brings a lifetime of success and experience to the negotiations. He knows what he wants and is determined to exit office of the Chief Justice on his own terms and with all public honours.
Government wants him out as soon as possible. Sir David’s representative (whose name is known to the source and BFP but will not be revealed at this time) is maintaining that the CJ will not agree to go before February 2009 at the earliest. This is so Sir David will have continued in the post for a year after the Thompson DLP government took office and his leaving the office will not be seen as political – only a natural event for someone approaching their 69th birthday.
Sir David Faces Two Problems As He Contemplates His Retirement Legacy…
Firstly, Sir David’s appointment as Chief Justice was an overtly political act, an act that was all about consolidating power for the BLP cabal.
When a lifelong politician, who was Attorney General under two governments and acting Prime Minister on many occasions, became Chief Justice virtually overnight – it all but eliminated the separation of powers between the government and the judicial system. That was a highly political act.
With over 25 continuous years as a professional politician and only the last 6 years as a judge, David Simmons as the Chief Justice was, and still is, seen as a political event. Therefore his retirement will also be seen as a political event no matter when and under what circumstances it takes place.
The second problem faced by Sir David is that he is embroiled in an international legal battle that is becoming more of a mess every week.
The Kingsland Estates trial has already produced many surprises about Sir David and his brother Peter Simmons – including previously secret tape recordings, documents, sworn affidavits and other damning evidence. Like we said, David Simmons was a professional politician for 25 unbroken years before he was Chief Justice and some of those backroom deals are coming back to haunt him.
Just last week it surfaced that long before he became Chief Justice or a “SIR”, David Simmons signed a fraudulent document in a Kingsland Estates land deal where he claimed to represent a company that did not exist at the time! (You don’t have to believe us about this, you can see the documents for yourself online here.)
Who knows what else waits to be revealed about the former 25 year veteran Member of Parliament and Attorney General?
Sir David must be concerned about the choices facing him. If he goes now, it may look like Thompson forced him out but he will still have all the public honours he desires.
But if he waits, only he knows what further hidden scandals may, or may not, come to light before his “retirement”. Could any of those pieces of evidence yet to surface in the Kingsland Estates trial be so serious as to cause the public to focus on his 25 years of shady backroom political deals instead of upon his accomplishments – when his retirement is announced?
Maybe the Kingsland Estates trial is not considered a factor by Sir David – or maybe it is but the public will never know.
One thing is certain though: if the Thompson Government has any integrity at all, our new Barbados Chief Justice will be a totally apolitical person whose very presence does not taint the entire justice system with the stink of partisan politics… as did SIR David Simmons for the last six years.