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Sep 14, 2012

Ex-coast guard gets cash award, but wants reputation back

Marlon Hernandez

An Ex Coast Guard officer has won a major judgment after appealing his dismissal from the force. Marlon Hernandez was a Lieutenant in the Belize Defence Force before being transferred when the Coast Guard was established in 2005. But in 2008, he was accused of serious offences including forging documents to get a credit card from a local bank, selling fuel without authority and deserting a vessel in Punta Gorda without authority. Only the Forgery charges were brought to court and they were dismissed in the Magistrates Court in 2009. Still, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Captain John Borland, recommended his dismissal to the Security Services Commission (SSC) in 2010 after he was first suspended. After losing an appeal to the Belize Advisory Council (BAC), Hernandez applied for judicial review which came to trial in February. His case ended earlier this week before Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana and Hernandez was awarded forty-nine thousand, two hundred and thirty dollars in salaries, which covers the thirty month period from when he was dismissed in March of 2010 to the date of the judgment. He is also to be paid ten thousand dollars in general damages because Justice Arana ruled that the Security Services Commission and the Advisory Council were, “arbitrary and unfair in their choosing to dismiss a promising young officer whose certificates and other credentials illustrate his exemplary performance in his international examinations as a Coast Guard officer and the subsequent hardship he has since endured in not being able to attain work in the maritime field.”  The judged described the conduct in Hernandez’ disciplinary hearings as “utterly reprehensible” because he was suspended on charges that were never substantiated and she says the entire proceedings resemble a witch-hunt. The former officer is happy to have his name cleared and says he will sue Captain Borland for defamation of character.

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5 Responses for “Ex-coast guard gets cash award, but wants reputation back”

  1. Rod says:

    Sue barrow no one else he has all the money millions and millions in the banks in the us forget Borland he has nothing sue barrow he is the one that got you fired he give the final orders sue him and the gov..

  2. Storm says:

    There appear to be serious cracks in the officer corps of both the Coast Guard and BDF which situation cannot help trust and morale. Heaven help us if our defenders are called upon to defend us.

    I feel the political parties have insinuated themselves too much into our military, which should be utterly non-partisan and have allegiance only to the nation and constitution.

  3. Teddy Steinway says:

    Standards of conduct and competence must be applied by the Ministry.

    A rogue commander is a serious liability to the performance of the unit.

    This isn’t a game of Monopoly.

  4. ceo says:

    The good ones that stand up to the crooked system are always maligned. I know two other Belizeans who are honest and upsatnding who have stood up to the corupt system and like this guy been maligned.

    It does not matter your politics (red or Blue) we need to understand that if our country will progress this mess must stop. Not only stop but the roots must be pulled out.

    If the country progresses all boats will float (Red and Blue) and we will all enjoy a better way of life!

  5. Concerned says:

    Mr. Dean Lindo represents justice and he will prevail everytime.

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