Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, is raising concerns over a $3 million payment from the Caribbean Maritime University, CMU, to the alleged housekeeper of the sacked Education Minister, Ruel Reid.
The payment was made to a woman identified in documents submitted to the committee by the President of CMU, Professor Fritz Pinnock.
The woman was named as a Doreen Miller.
It was revealed that CMU paid a consultant, Gail Dunwell, almost $15 million for raising funds in the Diaspora on behalf of the university.
But, PAAC Member, Mikael Phillips, alleged during today’s sitting that millions were paid to former Education Minister Ruel Reid’s housekeeper as part of those payments.
Tauna Thomas tells us more.
Documents provided by the CMU to the PAAC this afternoon show that the institution made the payments between January and December 2018.
CMU President, Professor Fritz Pinnock, noted that the institution received almost $US400,000 or nearly $50 million in grant funding from Ms. Dunwell’s work.
However, Mr. Phillips questioned why a portion of the payments to Ms. Dunwell valued at $US70,000 was paid to a third party.
He alleges that the person, who was named as Doreen Miller, was the housekeeper of the fired former Education Minister, Ruel Reid.
5 payments were made totaling more than $3 to Ms. Miller.
Professor Pinnock confirmed that the sum was paid.
However, he’s not aware of any relationship she may have with the former Education Minister.
Minister Reid was fired in March by Prime Minister Holness after allegations of corruption surfaced against him.
Meanwhile, Professor Pinnock says the requests for certain documents from the CMU by the Financial Investigations Division, FID are tantamount to harassment.
It was alleged in the print media today that the CMU had retained lawyers to fight court orders from the FID and the Auditor General’s department as part of their ongoing investigations.
However, Mr. Pinnock says his office has been very cooperative.
He accuses the FID of behaving very irregular in its pursuit of information.
Professor Fritz Pinnock, President of the Caribbean Maritime University.
But, Committee Member, Mikael Phillips, told Professor Pinnock that his behavior and the information he has provided to the committee have been unsatisfactory.
He says if he were the Minister, Professor Pinnock would be asked to go on leave.