Former Education Minister gives up on effort to remain school’s principal amid corruption case
Embattled former Minister of Education Ruel Reid has resigned as principal of Jamaica College (JC), weeks after the Hope Road-located high school was thrown into turmoil when he applied for an extension to his special leave.
In a joint statement this afternoon, Reid and the board of management of Jamaica College announced that his resignation would take effect today (November 20) and that it was in the best interest of both parties.
His special leave was due to end today.
“Mr Reid has signaled his unbroken support for Jamaica College and the acting principal Mr Wayne Robinson and wishes the school every success,” the statement read.
Reid, who was permanently appointed principal of JC on September 1, 2007, had been granted special leave by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in order to allow him to pursue his ministerial duties when he was appointed education minister in 2016.
But on March 20, 2019, Reid was forced to resign from that office as corruption allegations swirled around him in relation to his involvement in financial irregularities at the ministry and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).
Months later, on October 8, 2019, he was arrested along with four others including Professor Fritz Pinnock, president of the CMU, in an investigation into allegations of corruption, fraud and misappropriation of public funds involving the Ministry of Education and the CMU. Both men remain before the court on the matter.
The stain on Reid’s reputation had left JC with significant concerns around the return of its principal to his seat at Hope Road.
In addition, since the month after his arrest, he has completed two years of special leave with full salary and emoluments amounting to more than $11 million.
After Reid’s recent submission of a request for a further extension of his special leave, the JC Board sought guidance from the education ministry and submitted a list of proposals for a way forward.
However, the ministry reportedly refused to put forward a position, indicating to the board that it was empowered to make its own decision on Reid’s future.