CMU Drops Court Action Against Financial Investigations Division, Boots Hugh Wildman

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The Council of the Caribbean Maritime University, CMU, says it’s dropping the court action against the Financial Investigations Division, FID, which was intended to stop them from getting documents from the school.

The CMU’s council says it’s also terminating the services of attorney Hugh Wildman, who brought the action against the FID.

That’s according to a report prepared by the university’s council.

It was also revealed that CMU Council Chairwoman, Hyacinth Bennett, requested that the CMU cooperate with the FID investigation almost a month ago.

The council’s report seeks to outline its efforts to address the concerns which have arisen as a result investigations into the conduct of fired Education Minister, Ruel Reid.

William Mitchell reports.

The CMU Council’s report outlines the timeline of events and actions it took in relation to deepening money scandal rocking the university.

According to the report, at a special meeting of the Council on Monday this week, it was suggested the court action and the services of attorney-at-law, Hugh Wildman, be terminated.

The CMU’s Legal Officer told the Council instructions to discontinue the action should be sent to Mr. Wildman, after which his services should be terminated.

At that meeting earlier this week, the Council also made the decision to inform the CMU’s President, Professor Fritz Pinnock, of its decision to suspend his access to the CMU system.

Last Friday, the CMU announced that Professor Pinnock was to go on a six week voluntary leave of absence; effective immediately.

The Council says it also considered sending the university’s Treasurer, Devon Gardner, on leave.

It was also revealed that Mr. Gardener had already made a request to be granted leave.

In another special meeting on June 13, the Council says it was informed by Professor Pinnock that Mr. Wildman was engaged to represent the school in the matter of releasing requested documents to the FID.

According to the report, Chairwoman of the CMU Council, Hyacinth Bennett, requested that the tertiary institution release the documents.

Also at the June 13 meeting, the Council ordered an audit of the operations of the Treasury Department.

The CMU Council’s report says the audit was ordered after it questioned Mr. Gardener about alleged anomalies contained in information he provided.

Meanwhile, the report also reveals that the University Council has decided that Othneil Lawrence should serve out the remainder of his contract instead of his services being terminated.

That decision was made at a special meeting on June 4.

The Council says the decision was made because of the legal ambiguity surrounding his contract.

According to the Council, there was a difference of legal opinion between the CMU’s Legal Officer and Hugh Wildman regarding the terms of Mr. Lawrence’s contract.

The Council says it found the matter to be a legal grey area and could potentially be challenged in court if termination is recommended.

It also decided to review the terms of reference of Mr. Lawrence’s contract.

Mr. Lawrence’s three-year, $5-million per annum contract with the university expires in 2021.

At the June 4 meeting, the University Council says its Chairwoman also asked for a decision to be made about the termination of Gail Campbell Dunwell.

According to the report, Professor Pinnock advised the Council that the contract with Ms Campbell Dunwell is in abeyance.

That means the contract is in a state of temporary suspension.

But, it’s unclear if or when the contractual arrangement with Ms Campbell Dunwell will be reactivated.



William Mitchell is a sports-fanatic turned journalist. He graduated from CARIMAC in 2016. He interned at the Jamaica Gleaner covering sports and joined NNN in 2017. Mitchell covers crime for Nationwide. He’s been to every single zone of special operations across the island.


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