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CMU ‘family’ urged to stick together - Staff unhappy as meeting sheds no light on corruption saga

Published:Friday | July 12, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Staff at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) were left disgruntled yesterday after a meeting with administrators who failed to address allegations of rampant corruption involving the institution.

The meeting was reportedly the first held since the resignation of Education Minister Ruel Reid, who is the subject of investigations at the CMU being conducted by law enforcement outfits including the Financial Investigations Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

It also followed reports by the CMU Council this week that it was not notified about the employment of four individuals, including former Jamaica Labour Party caretaker Othneil Lawrence and consultant Gail Dunwell-Campbell – key figures in the ongoing CMU corruption saga.

“We were called to the meeting and all they had to tell us was that we are a family and that we must stick together as a family. There was no attempt to address the many allegations that have come against the CMU,” fumed one staff member, who declined to be named.

According to the staff member, questions about the ongoing scandals were mainly deflected by school officials who remained tight-lipped, noting an investigation was under way.

“They said they did not have answers and that they could not comment on the matter. Nobody seems to want to take any responsibility for their actions,” said the source, adding that staff raised concerns about the university’s long wait before addressing staff on the matter.

“If we are supposed to be family, as they say, I would expect that they as administrators would come out and say something to us from long ago,” continued the staff member.

Last week, Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) heard reports that another of two household helpers assigned to the former education minister was the recipient of contracts from the CMU, raising more questions about its operations.

The committee was told that Maureen Blake, while still being paid by the Ministry of Education, was reportedly contracted to the CMU to provide services.

Already linked to the CMU was another of Reid’s 'helpers', Doreen Miller, through whose bank account millions of dollars in payments by the CMU to Dunwell Campbell were routed.