The Assistant Chief Minister has “stepped aside” from his role after being charged with dangerous driving.
St. John Constable Chris Taylor wrote to the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, yesterday (Monday 20 January) to inform him of the proceedings against him relating to an alleged motoring incident in June 2019.
In his letter, he said he “strenuously” denied the allegations, but nonetheless offered to “step aside temporarily” from his Ministerial duties “in order to avoid any unnecessary distraction for the government”.
The offer was accepted by the Chief Minister, who wrote in reply that the Constable had “taken the proper decision in asking temporarily to step aside."
It's not clear exactly what the phrase "step aside" means, and how it differs from a resignation, leave of absence, demotion or suspension, or if Constable will also be "stepping aside" from his Parish duties.
Pictured: The Chief Minister described the Constable's offer to "step aside" as "proper".
The correspondence between the pair was released at the Chief Minister’s request “in the interests of transparency and public accountability”, accompanied by a short statement.
It read: “Assistant Chief Minister, Connétable Christopher Taylor, yesterday (20 January 2020) asked the Chief Minister to allow him to step aside from his duties temporarily, after he was charged with an alleged motoring offence. The Chief Minister agreed.”
Both parties have declined to comment further on the matter, as they say it is “sub judice."
Police have since confirmed that the Assistant Minister was charged under Article 22 of the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956.
Pictured: The Constable of St. John will face the Magistrate's Court next week.
The law reads: "If any person drives a vehicle (other than a wheelchair) dangerously or rides an animal dangerously on a road or other public place, he or she shall be guilty of an offence."
Those found guilty of breaking such a law can face a fine, disqualification from driving, and a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
Constable Taylor is scheduled to appear in the Magistrate's Court in relation to the charge on Tuesday 28 January.
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