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Pinnock extends leave of absence from CMU

Saturday, September 14, 2019

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Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) President Professor Fritz Pinnock has requested a further extension of his leave of absence from the institution as investigations linked to allegations of corruption at the school and involving former Education Minister Ruel Reid continue.

Pinnock was expected to resume duties at the university next Monday, but in a statement yesterday, the CMU said, given that the report from the probe has not been made public, Professor Pinnock has indicated that he should continue to be on leave until the details of the findings have been made public.

Two months ago the CMU head advised the board of the institution that he would take a six-week leave of absence to allow for transparency and to retain the integrity of the university.

There was speculation yesterday that the extension was for another two weeks, but the CMU has not indicated a timeline.

“In the meantime, the activities of the Caribbean Maritime University have been proceeding smoothly at the start of the academic year, with classes fully underway in the wake of successful registration and orientation periods,” the university said.

Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna will continue to act as president and Professor Noel Brown as deputy.

Pinnock's leave came on the heels of a legal row with the authorities over a reported delay in the submission of documents by the CMU in relation to the investigations.

At a meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament in June, he dismissed reports that the investigators were being hampered by the university.

A number of details about the relationship between the CMU and the former minister were disclosed at the PAAC when Professor Pinnock and education ministry officials appeared.

These include contractual arrangements between the CMU and a consultant who was paid through a third party connected to Reid, and the hiring of former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament Othneil Lawrence to the university, after Reid was endorsed as the new JLP caretaker for St Ann North Western.


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