No criminal charges in Bell Island ABE program probe

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A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) investigation into the Bell Island Basic Education Program has been concluded.

During an audit review the Department of Advanced Education and Skills noted some accounting irregularities in the Bell Island Adult Basic Education Program.  The department then referred the matter to the RNC for investigation.

The RNC said in a news released today it has completed its investigation and determined that no criminal charges will be laid.

Also, the RNC said, no further comment will be made at this time.

Advanced Education and Skills Minister Joan Shea called in the police late last year to look at issues surrounding the Bell Island program.This came after just months after The Telegram reported that PC MHA David Brazil was directly involved in administering government funding for an adult basic education program on Bell Island.

Documents provided to The Telegram showed that Brazil was responsible for signing the record of employment for one teacher, and arranged to pay somebody in beer in exchange for installing basic programs on a school computer.

The documents made public in September 2012 also showed that the Bell Island adult basic education program was being funded through the Bell Island Senior Hockey Association. Some paycheques for teachers were marked as belonging to the “Bell Island Junior Blues,” a team that has been defunct for several years.

Brazil explained at the time that the Junior Blues cheques apply to the same bank account as the Bell Island Senior Blues — which is still an active team — and they didn’t want to waste money ordering new cheques.

Brazil explained back in September that before he was elected as an MHA he wanted to work to get government grant money to set up an adult literacy program on Bell Island. The only way to do that, he said, was to have a non-profit group onboard to help, and the only organization he could get to step up the program was the local hockey team.

As for the beer, he said a beer company sponsored the hockey team, and that kind of barter is how they make the most of limited financial resources.

For more on this story, see Saturday's Telegram.

Organizations: A Royal, The Telegram, Department of Advanced Education and Skills Bell Island Senior Hockey Association Bell Island Senior Blues

Geographic location: Bell Island, Brazil, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    May 03, 2013 - 20:30

    Didn't he vote for cuts to the ABE Program? This all still stinks to me.

  • Ron
    May 03, 2013 - 16:03

    Brazil has done some good job on the ferry. NOT!

  • ed
    May 03, 2013 - 13:02

    Public officials on Bell Island and a number of Govt officials have been full of praise to David Brazil for his pre MHA monumental efforts to establish and run a desperately needed ABE program on Bell with a much underfunded budget. Ironically that instead of congratulations his name was smeared by unfounded and ridiculous allegations. Dave was just recognized with an award for his superior volunteer activity. Hopefully Government leadership will recognize and praise his efforts and accomplishments on this ABE file and Dave can continue his very proactive and dedicated service to his constituents and assume an increased role with the PC Government

  • Don
    May 03, 2013 - 12:02

    Glad to hear he is vindicated; regardless of the party he represents, Mr. Brazil is a good MHA who does alot for his district and many have benefited from initiatives he has worked on such as the ABE Program on Bell Island, school for PCSP and arena for Paradise.