Saint Lucian attorney-at-law Tamara Gibson-Marks has resigned as registrar of the St. Vincent High Court. Reports to the STAR indicate she was asked to quit by St. Vincent’s attorney general Judith Jones-Morgan. Tamara Gibson-Marks, who is married to high profile Vincentian attorney Ronald “Ronnie” Marks (a former senator in Ralph Gonsalves Unity Labour Party administration) had held her job since 2008.
On Tuesday, the STAR spoke to Cyp Neehall, Editor of The Vincentian, for some clarity on the still fuzzy issue. After confirming Gibson-Marks’ resignation, Neehall said indications were that her decision may have been based on the advice of the island’s prime minister.
Said Neehall: “In a statement to reporters the prime minister also revealed the attorney general, the police commissioner and the director of audit were all engaged in an investigation of matters at the registry.”
He added: “Notice that the prime minister did not say the registrar was under investigation, only the registry. People are free to make of that what they wish.”
The STAR also learned that Gibson-Marks’ resignation came just one day after a meeting with the attorney general on Thursday, May 22.
St. Vincent’s I Witness-News featured the following by the Vincentian prime minister: “I have been advised that the attorney general requested a meeting with her [Marks], as a consequence of which the attorney general either requested or demanded—I wasn’t present—her resignation.” Gonsalves is further quoted as saying: “The Honorable Attorney General spoke to me about the meeting which she had, but I am not at liberty to speak about the content of what the attorney general told me about that meeting.”
A source told the STAR that Gibson-Marks’ resignation may be related to registry funds. Neehall confirmed he had heard about that. “I’m sure you have heard about an account below the line, right? Well, apparently there was such an account at the registry and from my understanding there is an on-going investigation in relation to it.” As to the contents of the account, Neehall said it could have been near EC$100,000.
Neehall revealed that all efforts by his newspaper to contact Gibson-Marks or her husband for comment have so far proven futile.
“From all we hear,” he said, “she may have left the country. But no one at the attorney general’s office is prepared to say if she is off-island or whether her movements had been restricted.” Asked to comment on her whereabouts, Gonsalves reportedly said: “The point about it is this: Mrs. Marks is a judicial officer. Mrs. Marks has resigned. There are three important offices of the state: the Honourable Attorney General’s office, the Office of the Commissioner of Police, and the Director of Audit are actively engaged in certain matters and I believe in giving the institutions of the state an opportunity to do their work in the swiftest possible way, and to do their work efficaciously. I expect there are other authorities who would be engaged by the Honorable Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police.” Meanwhile, St. Vincent’s Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace as called on the government to issue a related official statement.
“It is a very sensitive post,” Eustace said during his regular radio program. “It has to do with our courts and it should be in everybody’s mind what the situation really is.”
“I don’t want to speculate. I believe it is the responsibility of the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, specifically the prime minister in his capacity as Minister of Legal Affairs, to say to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines what in fact happened.”
Meanwhile radio shows in St. Vincent have been inundated by concerned citizens seeking clarification of the issue.
Marks is the daughter of RCI owner Secra Gibson.