City Solicitor Sam T. Solomon, seeking US$132,000, LD$1,012,000
After complaining against the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) over seven years and four months totaling US$132,000 and LD$1,012,000 unpaid wages, including benefits, the Supreme Court of Liberia has summoned the Ministry.
The Ministry is expected to appear today, Thursday, October 30, before Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, Justice in Chambers.
A communication written by Madam Martha Bryant Henries, Clerk of the Supreme Court to the Ministry, ordered that “By directive of His Honor Philip A. Z. Banks, Associate Justice presiding in Chambers, you are hereby cited to a conference with His Honor on Thursday, October 30, at the hour of 2 p.m. in connection with a request for a writ of mandamus.”
A writ of mandamus is an extraordinary court order because it is made without the benefit of full judicial process, or before a case has concluded.
It may be issued by a court at any time that it is appropriate, but it is usually issued in a case that has already begun.
In his request for the writ, Solomon insisted that he had worked with the Justice Ministry for a period of seven years and four months, rendering professional services for which he had yet to be paid.
In counter argument, the Ministry said, it is not indebted to the City Solicitor because they did not employee him as a city solicitor.
The Ministry contended that during the seven years and four month period, Solomon was serving as a “volunteer.”
They based their argument on Section 3,4 of the Civil Service Agency standing order that says, “Selection of successful candidates must be recommended to the CSA by appointing authority to prepare his/her Personal Action Notice (PAN).
The Ministry further argued that Solomon, during his seven years and four months volunteerism as city solicitor, he did not fill in the PAN.
According to a document, dated June 20, 2007, addressed to Sam T. Solomon, under the signature of Samuel K. Jacob, then County Attorney for Montserrado County, the Ministry wrote, “In consultation with Cllr. Tiawon S. Gongloe, Solicitor General, Republic of Liberia, and with his consent and approval, you are hereby appointed as City Solicitor and assigned at the Monrovia City Magisterial Court, to augment the prosecutorial strengthen at said court.”
MOJ noted in the document “This assignment takes immediate effect with the hope that you will certainly justify the confidence reposed in you.”
The Ministry, concluding the document, wrote “Meanwhile, you will proceed to the office of the Solicitor General for details pertinent to your employment process.”
Another document dated February 16, 2007, reassigning Solomon from the Brewerville Magisterial Court to the Monrovia City Court; the current County Attorney of Montserrado County, Cllr. Daku Mulbah, wrote “I am pleased to send you my compliment and to inform you that you have been recalled at the Monrovia City Magisterial Court effective as of the date of the communication. You will serve as senior City Solicitor at said court.”
Cllr. Mulbah, concluding his letter wrote “You are urged to [take] your new assignment [seriously] and to put the interest of Liberia above all else.”