There’s more information emerging about why Prime Minister Andrew Holness fired his Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator Ruel Reid.
Nationwide News sources say at the heart of the issues is a messy state of affairs at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU). Our sources say a female consultant was contracted and paid sums of money by CMU. The consultant is said to have directed that the money be paid into the bank account of a woman who’s Mr. Reid’s helper.
The Police are investigating to establish whether the money paid into the woman’s account was for work actually done. But, senior officials in the CMU administration are insisting that the consultant had actually done work for which the money was paid.
The JCF’s Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Agency (CTOC) and the Financial Investigation Division (FID) of the Finance Ministry, are investigating.
There are also questions this afternoon about whether Mr. Reid’s predecessor as JLP caretaker for North West St. Ann, Othneil Lawrence, was contracted to the CMU. It’s understood that Mr. Lawrence was given a $5-million contract and appointed as an advisor to CMU President, Professor Fritz Pinnock.
Last year, after a few weeks of contention, Lawrence stepped down as JLP caretaker for the constituency of North West St. Ann, and paved the way for the installation of Ruel Reid.
There are also questions this afternoon about whether an elected parish councillor in North West St. Ann has a contract at the CMU.
Calls placed this afternoon to Mr. Lawrence and Professor Pinnock were not answered. CMU is one of the agencies under the Ministry of Education.
Prime Minister Holness’s decision to sack the Education Minister has surprised some people in the administration, the Opposition and the private sector.
Director of Communication in the Office of Prime Minister, Robert Morgan, spoke this afternoon with our news centre.