Mon | Jun 17, 2019

PCJ director Lionel Myrie was also special assistant to Wheatley, documents reveal

Published:Tuesday | May 21, 2019 | 12:42 PM
Lionel Myrie responding to questions at a sitting of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee - Ian Allen photo

Livern Barrett, Senior Parliamentary Reporter

Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica director Lionel Myrie was employed as a special assistant to former energy minister Dr Andrew Wheatley at the time he forwarded the request for a controversial $9 million donation to the Sydenham Citizens Association.

According to documents submitted to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today, Myrie served from March 2016 to January 2018.

He was originally hired on a three-year contract, but left the job months before Wheatley resigned.

A performance audit of Petrojam, the state-owned oil refinery, has revealed that Myrie sent an email to then Petrojam general manager Floyd Grindley on July 5, 2017.

The email indicated that a $9 million sponsorship request by the McCook's Pen Citizens Association should be withdrawn and replaced with a request from the Sydenham Citizens Association in the same amount.

Carol Palmer, permanent secretary in the Energy Ministry, revealed last month that Myrie told her, during a meeting at her office, that he was acting in his capacity as a personal assistant to the minister when he forwarded the email.

However, when Myrie appeared before the PAC last week he said he was not acting in any capacity when he forwarded the email.

Myrie said he was asked by late councillor Owen Palmer to forward the request for the donation to Petrojam and he merely served as a "courier."

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