Former Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade has walked away from an offer to become the country’s new Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service, amid ongoing public concern around the constitutionality of his appointment to the post.
In a statement tonight, Meade said the current public discourse arround his appointment did not provide “a sufficiently settled environment for the assumption of such a significant office”.
See his full statement below:
I was advised by the Office of the Cabinet that I would receive a letter of appointment, from His Excellency the Governor General, through the Office of the Services Commission, for the post of Cabinet Secretary on the recommendation of the Prime Minister with input from the Public Services Commission.
After almost four decades of service to the people of Jamaica, I was convinced to continue to serve and had initially indicated my intention to accept the offer.
Although I was invited by the Public Services Commission to be considered for the post while I was still a serving officer, the current public discourse does not provide a sufficiently settled environment for the assumption of such a significant office and I will therefore seek His Excellencies’ understanding of my decision to decline.
I would again like to thank His Excellency the Governor General, the Most Honourable Prime Minister and the Public Services Commission for the consideration and confidence and appreciate their understanding of my position.
The concerns about Meade’s appoint revolved around the fact that it was believed he was not a member of the public service at the time of the offer of appointment.
Several legal luminaries, including former solicitor general Michael Hylton, had suggested the appointment did not stand up to scrutiny, as they believed his status as a retired army officer did not qualify him for consideration.