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The Gaston Browne-led administration has accepted the retirement of Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh and has offered her a benefits package, which includes her full gratuity and pension.
After being found guilty of 15 disciplinary charges by a tribunal appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, Walsh’s removal from the bench was recommended to Governor-General Sir Rodney Williams.
Among the disciplinary charges faced by Walsh were collecting funds without transmitting them to the government treasury and destruction of magistrates’ notes, vouchers, and government property.
The Judicial and Legal Services Commission had been investigating Chief Magistrate Walsh for several months after Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Hildred Simpson, requested her investigation amid allegations about her conduct.
While acting as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Walsh was advised to retire before the disciplinary trial began, but she declined, wishing to clear her name, according to sources.
However, after being found guilty of all charges, she quickly submitted her retirement letter to the Government to ensure her benefits package. Walsh served as chief magistrate for almost 20 years.