Court shoots down attempt by ex-SSA director to advance lawsuit

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Ex-SSA director Carlton Dennie. –

FORMER director of intelligence for the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) Carlton Dennie will not be allowed to file a statement of case to support his breach of contract lawsuit because he had agreed to the matter being compromised by accepting an offer of payment.

Dennie was fired from the agency on December 4, 2015. He claimed he was approached to assist in the “weeding out of Indians” at the SSA. He claimed he was wrongfully dismissed. In August 2019, Dennie appeared on a UNC platform as a guest speaker and spoke of his time at the SSA and what allegedly led to his dismissal.

In a recent ruling, Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell denied his application to extend the time for him to carry on his lawsuit and also ordered him to pay the State’s costs.

She said she took into account his four-year delay to file the statement of the case; the fact that a compromise was reached which rendered his case hopeless and that there was no real prejudice to him to enforce the agreed position.

In 2016, when he filed his lawsuit for compensation for breach of contract and unlawful dismissal, an order was made for him to amend his claim, leaving only the former aspect of the case based on the ruling in another case.

Directions were given for the filing of a statement of case but Dennie’s then-attorney e-mailed the parties that a settlement was close in this matter as well as three other related lawsuits so none would be filed to save costs.

Consent orders were entered in the other three cases and the State offered Dennie $120,002.53 as a full and final settlement.

His then-attorney, Jared Jagroo, responded to the offer without prejudice accepting the terms, indicating Dennie was prepared to compromise the proceedings. A draft consent was signed by the Attorney General and sent to the court and after three attempts to get Dennie to acknowledge receipt of the signed draft, there was a notice of change of attorney in August 2020. Dennie’s new lawyer, Jayanti Lutchmedial, indicated her instructions were that no settlement had been reached and asked if the State would be willing to agree to the filing of an application to extend the time for a statement of case to be filed.

After citing the correspondence between the parties, Lutchmedial indicated the draft consent was not signed by Jagroo because Dennie had changed his position on the compromise.

The State wrote back telling Lutchmedial, the parties had agreed to a compromise which was concluded and, as such, Dennie’s claim could not proceed nor would it agree to an extension of time.

Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell. –

In objecting to Dennie’s application, attorneys for the State argued that he had compromised the case and cannot now change it as a newly pleaded case would, more likely than not, be an act in futility.

The judge said she was persuaded by the State’s position in the matter.

Representing the AG were attorneys Douglas Mendes, SC, Michael Quamina, Kristal Madhosingh and Kadine Matthew.


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