Friday, October 24, 2008

Jersey Abuse Scandal – More Players in the Mix

So, shall we carry on from where we left off yesterday? These are the folks we shall discuss:

Tom McKeon – retired Chief Officer of Education

Mario Lundy – current Chief Officer of Education

Mike Vibert – current Minister of Education

Frank Walker – current Chief Minister

Michael Birt – current Deputy Bailiff

Roy le Herrissier – current Deputy

McKeon and Lundy’s career paths have been intertwined for many years. Much dirt has been dug-up about their tawdry pasts and both left a legacy of violent abuse against children in their wake.

This will be the Readers Digest, condensed series.

In the 1980’s, McKeon was Head of the child secure unit known as Les Chennes. Les Chennes gradually took over responsibilities for the children of Haute de la Garenne.

During McKeon’s tenure as Head of the school, his Deputy Head was none other than, Mario Lundy. Also, during McKeon’s tenure, he earned the nickname, “The Pinball Wizard”.

Why, you ask?

McKeon had the furniture in his office at Les Chennes arranged in such a way as to afford a nice, clear path to the walls of the room.

McKeon is known to have grabbed children by the arm, take a running start, and swing the child so he would smash against the walls. Savagely bouncing children off the walls and furniture is how he earned his nickname.

Lundy committed brutal assaults similar in nature. He is known to have punched children, slam them against walls and doors, slap them, and grab them by the hair.

In one reported instance, Lundy accompanied a group of children to a swimming pool. A child who was misbehaving was cruelly slapped about the head and then thrown to the floor by Lundy. The throwing of the child to the ground was done with sufficient force to break the child’s arm.

The child was taken to Accident and Emergency where the staff was told the injury “had been caused by an accident during sports at school.”

McKeon and Lundy were both in the habit of committing violent assaults on the children in their care, yet both - over the years – rose to the position of Chief Officer of Education!

Take heart - McKeon and Lundy are both key suspects in the historic child abuse investigation.

Now lets look at Education Minister – Senator Mike Vibert.

September of 2007, Senator Syvret was dismissed as Health & Social Services Minister on the grounds that by publicly criticizing Jersey’s child “protection” apparatus, he was “undermining staff moral.

As Health & Social Services Minister, Syvret was one third of the “Corporate Parent” – a States entity that has responsibility for all matters concerning children. The Other two thirds were the Home Affairs Minister, Wendy Kinnard – and the Education Minister, Mike Vibert!

So, Vibret obviously seems to be failing in his responsibilities.

The allegations against Mario Lundy are sufficient enough that police issued a Disclosure Notice to his employer that Lundy is under serious investigation for violent child abuse.

Now, who is Lundy’s employer? None other than Mike Vibret!

With such serious allegations, has Lundy been suspended from his post pending the outcome of the abuse investigation? Nope – he’s still on the job collecting his salary.

Now, it begs the question, why would the Education Minister who has responsibility for all matters regarding children, continue to employ Lundy?

Finally, the rest of those in the mix and Senator Syvret’s bold move in the State’s assembly!

On 10/21, the assembly held what is known as, “States of Jersey Questions”.

Deputy Roy le Herrissier rose and asked - " "What consequences follow if a disclosure notice is issued by the police in respect of a public servants alleged actions?"

Chief Minister Frank Walker responded that it would depend on the circumstances. It would be taken very seriously and each case would be judged on its merits as to whether suspension was necessary.

According to Senator Syvret: I made the point by asking would he regard a very senior civil servant under investigation for alleged child abuse to be sufficiently serious to merit suspension? Walker just fudged the answer.

So I tried again, by asking is he seriously trying to tell the assembly that something as serious as the Chief Officer of Education – Mario Lundy – being under investigation for sustained, violent child abuse – didn’t merit suspension.” Naturally enough – I got interrupted at this point by Michael Birt – and the predictable howls of outrage from Mike Vibert, Walker, and most other States members – but I managed to interject and repeat the name Mario Lundy – just in case anyone had missed it.

Vibert said he didn’t like my “behavior” – to which I replied “and I don’t like child abusers.”

Vibert went on to much applause – by saying the States had a duty of care – to its EMPLOYEES! Fer Christ sake! It is simply not occurring to him – or most other States members - that whilst the States has a duty of care to its employees – it has a far - far - greater duty of care to children.

The good news to take away from all of this:

-McKeon and Lundy are under investigation

-Walker is retiring

-Vibert was voted out of office

Long and short of all of it - Stuart Syvret is still dogging all of them!


uruisg said...

You are providing a valuable service by summarising the gist of Stuart Syvret's blog in a digestible form. In the shameful absence of media interest, it is left to bloggers to try to bring this to a wider audience. You quote Stuart explicitly in places, but i think you have used other parts of his blog without attributing him. Stuart is doing a fantastic job, and is virtually the only primary source of new information - surely he deserves all the credit he can get?

donchais said...

Thank you uruisg.

Except for the few and far between news articles, Stuart is the only source for information. I hold the man in great esteem and admire his perseverance.

Yes, Stuart deserves enormous credit. Sometimes I rewrite and condense and other times I directly quote him, but I ALWAYS link to his blog and his blog is always listed in the tags.