The long arm of the Law

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Rape allegations brought by a 34-year-old married woman five months ago have finally forced Police Chief Henry Greene from office, with authorities announcing his widely expected resignation at the weekend saying he will leave office immediately.

Greene, 58 this month, had been on administrative leave since late last year after the woman who had asked the top cop for help in recovering a stolen mobile phone, alleged he had pressured her into having sex at a city hotel owned by a close buddy. It lead to an official probe into the incident and calls for his departure from political parties, women and other civil society groups.

A terse announcement from the office of President Donald Ramotar stated that Greene, an attorney, had “offered to retire as the commissioner of police of Guyana” and that Ramotar has accepted his offer with immediate effect.”

Greene narrowly escaped being formally charged with rape after Chief Justice Ian Chang in a landmark ruling, stated last month that the state prosecutor’s office was wrong to recommend charges but called his conduct “immoral.” That ruling has widely been criticized by local and regional jurists, women, lawyers and other groups.

The alleged victim’s lawyer has said that he is contemplating private criminal charges against Greene and wants the umbrella, Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to pronounce on the matter, as his critics pile on even more pressure on the embattled former chief, at a time of “great personal stress” close associates say.

Greene’s departure brings to an end a colorful 30-plus year career for Greene who over the years had been granted accelerated promotion after long being tapped as a possible top cop from his early days as an enlisted beat-duty officer. He has offered no comment and has largely stayed out of the limelight while politicians and women’s groups were calling for his head.

His resignation — or retirement, as the official announcement stated, came hours after his 83-year-old mother died in the U.S. It is unclear whether Greene will be allowed to travel to the U.S. or whether his mother’s remains will return to her native Guyana, because the U.S. had revoked his travel visa on the same day he became police commissioner in July 2006, for alleged links to the narco trade; charges he has denied.

More from Around NYC