Jamaica’s leading anti-corruption watchdog – Integrity Commission – recently published its 1st Annual Report. One of the telling areas of the report – not mentioned widely in media or political circles – is on page 45 and what it says in relation to Danville Walker.
Walker is a leading figure within the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). He ran unsuccessfully for the JLP at the 2011 general elections. In 2012 Walker became managing director of the Jamaica Observer.
From 2008- 2011 Walker was Commissioner of Customs, but in December 2011, he was charged by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) for “obstructing its efforts to investigate breaches of a cabinet directive on scrap metal exports”.
Page 45 of the Integrity Commission annual report included the following statement…
“In addition to the foregoing, the Integrity Commission is undertaking the recovery or payment of costs related to litigation in the following matters:
Danville Walker v Contractor General – recovery of costs in the amount of $JA3,703,520.70 at the Supreme Court on September 9, 2016 and the Court of Appeal costs (which is to be determined) which was awarded to the Contractor General”
Walker was found guilty in 2017 of breaching the Contractor General Act and fined $JA5,000 or 14 days imprisonment. So paying legal cost for both sides (especially at the Court of Appeal level) is bound to be astronomical for Walker.
Walker resigned from his Jamaica Observer post in April and was appointed national director for a government initiative which is being administered under the Housing, Opportunity, Production, Employment (HOPE) programme. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement of Walker’s appointment.
But Walker’s reappointment as a senior public official must give optimism to those ex-public servants who lost their jobs following similar breaches of the law. Current public servants take note.