The great housing probe

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Within minutes, the Police Complaints Authority (CPA) on Thursday rushed to launch a probe as requested by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley.

And, even before investigating the matter, the PCA, headed by David West, pronounced that the allegations have “the potential to compromise our criminal justice system.”

In a dramatic statement, Rowley suggested that “inducements” could have influenced some police officers in their professional investigations.

Such inducements, he said, included State houses and Priority Bus Route passes.

He called for the matter to be “thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.”

The PCA quickly stated it had launched an “independent investigation.”

But Opposition parliamentarian Dr. Roodal Moonilal slammed Rowley for “slanderous and reckless allegations against … hundreds of police officers.”

Moonilal said that since the days of first Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams, “police officers have been receiving public housing.”

He stated that Rowley had, in the past, recommended police officers for State housing.

And, as Housing Minister, he had also given out such houses.

He declared: “To suggest that, as professionals, officers who receive housing units will compromise their principles and ethics is ludicrous.”

Moonilal, a former Minister of Housing, said the previous People’s Partnership Government had given out 100 houses a week.

“The current Rowley administration has collapsed the housing sector and destroyed the construction industry,” he charged.

He said that the PNM administration had also “gone after media workers.

He questioned whether public servants and other classes of workers would be next.

Moonilal suggested that if Rowley has evidence of wrongdoing or criminal conduct, he should report it to the police or other relevant authorities.

He said the PM should not “scandalise and slander officers and the service while on a political witch-hunt.”

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