McLean maintains innocence despite raid on home

KING’S Counsel (KC) Peter Champagnie says his client, former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Grace McLean has professed her innocence after her St Andrew home was raided on Friday.

Several items were seized in the operation, which was triggered by a transfer of $124 million to the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), as well as monies spent that remained unaccounted for in the ministry.

According to Champagnie, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) led the operation in partnership with the police’s Financial Investigations Division, and was carried out respectfully.

“I spoke to the lead officer on the ground and they were very professional and respectful and so too was my client in terms of the process. The process was pursued based on a search warrant that was obtained and this is part of a larger investigation. My client remains committed to full cooperation and she again reasserts her innocence. She did not do anything unlawful or unethical and we look forward to the speedy resolution and completion of the investigations. At the end of the day, it is her view she will be vindicated,” he said.

McLean has been on interdiction since January.

In January, Champagnie said that remuneration terms of the interdiction were to be settled quickly. However, it is not clear whether a settlement had been reached. McLean claimed that the case against her was unwarranted.

A surcharge recommendation was made by Pamela Monroe Ellis, the auditor general, after she audited the funds paid over to the JCTE. The JCTE has refused to submit documentation, claiming that it has private entity status.

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