“I accept that in this instance, the failure of the respondent (Cevalawa) to lodge her application for renewal was the result of negligence, carelessness, behaviour and was not a deliberate act to practise without a practising certificate,” Connors said. The Commission dismissed counts nine and 10 in its ruling made on December 5.
Justice William claims in his affidavit:
Some time ago in about February 2012 Commissioner Connors was fired by the Attorney General. His crime seems to have been not accepting what the Attorney General and the Chief Registrar wished to do in the case of an employed solicitor, Ms Siteri Cevalawa, who did not pay for her certificate on time. Her employers were at fault. She was properly being disciplined and Commissioner Connors did not think that her default should prevent her from practice and her livelihood. So he asked the Chief Registrar to regularize her status in the mean time. This was refused.
Foolishly, Commissioner Connors issued an order to the Chief Registrar. It was foolish because he did not have powers within the Legal Practitioners Act. I had to stay the order. But the Commissioner was trying to deliver fairness and justice to the practitioner before him.
So for acting fairly and justly, but contrary to what the Attorney General and the Chief Registrar desired of him, he was fired.