Wed | Feb 19, 2020

MOE, CMU mum on Pinnock’s return

Published:Wednesday | October 2, 2019 | 12:12 AMAndré Williams/Gleaner Writer

Mum’s the word. Neither the Ministry of Education nor the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) would budge yesterday as The Gleaner sought to get answers on Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) President Fritz Pinnock’s return to duties on Monday.

Pinnock had proceeded on voluntary leave on July 5 amid ongoing corruption investigations involving several agencies under the Ministry of Education, including the CMU. He had initially indicated that he would be stepping back for six weeks to allow the relevant authorities to conduct their probe, but that was later extended, reportedly, to give investigators more time.

Since Pinnock returned to take up duties at the Palisadoes-based university on Monday, education ministry officials and the CMU have been tight-lipped, refusing to shed any light on the status of the investigations the president went on leave to facilitate.

When contacted yesterday, Dr Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary in the education ministry, said she was in a meeting and could not facilitate The Gleaner’s questions.

Upon hearing the subject matter, she directed our news team to submit questions to Colin Steer, the ministry’s director of corporate communications.

“These questions are best directed to the CMU council,” Steer responded.

When The Gleaner contacted CMU, they, too, dodged the questions.

“I cannot comment on that,” a member of the marketing and communications unit told our news team.

Karl Samuda, the minister overseeing the education portfolio, had also been stumped, telling RJR News that Pinnock was not directed by the ministry to proceed on leave and that he had no knowledge of his return to take up duties at CMU.

Details of the findings of the investigation to date have not been made public. However, it has been disclosed that a criminal probe is under way regarding discarded education minister Ruel Reid.