Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Court grants leave to principal to fight dismissal

Published:Friday | December 4, 2020 | 3:50 PM

The Supreme Court today granted leave to Martin Murphy, dismissed principal of the Free Hill Primary and Infant School in St Mary, to go to the Judicial review Court to quash his dismissal.

Murphy has named chairman of the school board Paulette Nelson and the management of the School Board as the respondents.

Murphy was fired from his job in December last year due to alleged financial mismanagement of the school. He has denied the accusations.

In documents filed in court, Murphy said the secretary gave a written confession to the Ministry of Education in April last year of being involved in irregular activities with the school’s account.

He said the employee stated that she acted on her own without his knowledge .

Murphy is seeking a stay of the dismissal order so he can go back to work until the case is decided.

Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, who is representing Murphy, says the application for the stay will be heard on January 29 next year.

Murphy is contending that several meetings convened by the board was in breach of the Education Regulations and were therefore null and void.

He has complained that he was denied the right to have legal representation at a meeting held by the Personnel Committee in November 2019.

Murphy is seeking a declaration that the decision taken against him was irrational because the complaint covered a period when he was not in charge of the school.

Wildman argued that the board acted illegally in purporting to dismiss Murphy after he was denied a fair hearing including allegations of bias on the part of Nelson who said Murphy made statements that she was a Jamaica Labour Party activist and should go.

He also submitted that the Education Regulations were breached in that there was no complaint before the board and that the personnel committee which deliberated to remove Murphy did so without following the procedures laid down under section 57 of the Education Regulations.

The respondents are being represented by the Attorney General’s Department.

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