Court ruling lands McBean back as Police Federation Chairman
Corporal Arleen McBean
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the embattled Corporal Arleen McBean, who was unceremoniously dumped as Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation in January, be immediately reinstated to her position.
The usually tough-talking McBean was the first woman to be elected to the post in the 75-year history of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and eyebrows were raised when she was suddenly forced out of the position.
She was elevated to the post in May, 2018, and was expected to serve for a one-year term.
However, the police corporal was replaced as chairman by Inspector Sheldon Gordon, the former General Secretary of the federation, with the general secretary’s position being filled by former Legal Affairs Director, Sergeant Patrae Rowe. That decision followed what the federation described as a no-confidence motion that was moved against McBean, reportedly over her leadership style.
But, stung by the move, McBean filed an application with the court in February, challenging her dismissal, which she argued was illegal. Her attorney, Hugh Wildman, urged the court to have her reinstated with immediate effect, and the court found that the federation acted illegally.
Speaking on radio on Friday, Wildman said the persons now occupying the leadership of the federation – the chairman and general secretary - were occupying those positions illegally. Wildman said he told the court that the two men had “usurped power”.
“The court has vindicated us in our position that they are usurpers of power. They acted illegally in removing the chairman,” Wildman insisted.
McBean, also speaking on radio after the ruling, said: “I have to give the almighty God all the praise, all the glory, all the honour. His timing is the most perfect timing; it’s never about us. For me, I will continue to be that genuine representative at heart. I’ve been doing that for years, and nothing has changed.”
McBean added that the court has made its decision, and the federation will move forward as a united body.
The federation represents rank-and-file members of the JCF up to the rank of inspector.
With the federation set to immediately abide by the court’s ruling, Gordon and Rowe are set to be the shortest serving chairman and general secretary of the organisation, respectively.