The hue and cry raised this week over lead leaching into water courses from the Guanapo landfill is a textbook example of too little, too late.
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Rampant abuse, mismanagement swept under carpet for years
Principal of the St Michael’s School for Boys’ Kelvin Nancoo claims that more than four years ago allegations of rampant “abuse, incompetency and mismanagement” were reported to the authorities at the home, but it was swept under the carpet. Nancoo said when the report was made and nothing was done, he tendered his resignation as a member of the Anglican board after eight years of service.
At that time, Calvin Bess was head of the Anglican Diocese of T&T. Anglican Bishop Clyde Berkley is now head of the Diocese. The chairman of the board of management of the St Michael’s home is Deacon Eric Thompson. Alison Salandy is manager of the home. Nancoo said what pushed him to resign from the board was when a member “told me nothing will change and nobody is going to remove those responsible...”
Everything was unearthed on Tuesday when Attorney General Anand Ramlogan revealed that he had asked the Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and the Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard to launch a criminal investigation into the operations of the home after he read from a report into the death of inmate Brandon Hargreaves, who was found dead at the home in April 2014. Hargreaves’ report showed sexual abuse of inmates by supervisors and violents fights among inmates.
“I told them years ago that it would come back to haunt them. And it has,” Nancoo said. “If there is a tribunal and they want me to speak, then I will. I have expressed my disgust on many occasions to those in authority, but it was pushed under the carpet.” Yesterday, after being told of reports reaching the Sunday Guardian that files at the home were being destroyed as an investigation was launched, Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenn Hackett said he would dispatch a team to deal with the issue.
Berkley refused to answer questions about the report, but said he welcomed the investigation and “a press release on the matter will be issued soon.”