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May 13, 2014

Suspended immigration employees back on the job

Godwin Hulse

Senior Immigration staffers Ady Pacheco and Gordon Wade came under scrutiny for their roles in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. An internal Immigration investigation fingered both of them, and Elvin Penner, in serious irregularities in the issuance of a nationality certificate for Won Hong Kim. Still, they seem practically unscathed in all this, unlike their colleagues in the passport section who were suspended and taken before the Public Services Commission. Pacheco and Wade were asked to answer questions about their roles in the scandal and they immediately lawyered up. Incredibly, that was three months ago and the two officials appear to have dodged the bullet. 

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

“The file has been sent, or is being sent to the Public Service Commission who are the ultimate determinants as to what happens or what doesn’t happen to public officers. I will say though, categorically and unabashedly that the ruling of the Public Services Commission with respect to the three persons was a little disappointing to me cause I don’t see and I will never see how they arrived at their ruling, but I respect it.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, but at least in that case it went through the proper procedure and they were suspended…but in the case of the two Immigration officers it seems that they have been left to.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Not quite, not quite…remember it’s the Public Service Commission that does the suspension…it’s not the ministry, so it’s still up there before them to go back and forth.”

 

Reporter

“No recommendation in this case on the part of the Director?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Well, the Director’s first take was to ask them for clarification on various issues, and I, for the love of me, can’t see why a senior officer, a head of a department, can’t ask the staff below them for clarification. The response from the attorney I think was totally inadequate…but that is an attorney’s response, nothing to say. I thought, and I still think, that if I am asked how this process and that process was not complied with, that you should give a response so that is basically where that back and forth is going.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, but how is it that it appears that they are holding you to ransom…you are saying that they have said we just don’t answer…we are going to our attorney, but that’s it. There is nothing that you can do as Minister. There is nothing that your Director can do. These two officers are still in their positions, doing the same things that they have been doing all along, whether good or bad and they haven’t been touched.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Yeah well as I said that process is ongoing. And to follow up, Mike, a lot of things for me as minister I would consider being held to ransom. I’m a yesterday person. If I had had my way there would have been tremendous changes in lots of things.”

 

Of course, that’s the official version. But News Five has been reliably informed that both Wade and Pacheco have threatened to reveal ALL if there is any serious attempt to take them before the Public Services Commission. 

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