A legal representative for the Alexandra School Principal Jeff Broomes is disputing allegations of bad treatment by his client against Deputy Principal Beverley Lashley
Counsel Cecil McCarthy, QC, in his examination of chairman of the school’s board of management, Keith Simmons, QC, today at the Commission of enquiry into the school, said he had first hand knowledge that Broomes’ second in command had not been banished to a room at the back of Alexandra’s hall and that the room had no window.
He was examining Simmons this afternoon on his fourth day of testimony at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
“My recollection tells me it had no windows,” Simmons said in response to a question from the lawyer.
But McCarthy informed the commission headed by sole Commissioner Frederick Waterman that he visited the deputy principal’s room at Alexandra since Simmon’s testimony that the room had no window and had found this was not the case.
McCarthy said the room had two windows, and was air conditioned.
“Actually it is a better room than the principal, that is what surprised me,” the counsel stated, noting it was so large that it was divided into two, with one part used as a lunch room.
McCarthy told the witness that Lashley was previously on leave for up to four years and that the room she now occupied had been used by a former staff member, Victor Johnson, and Broomes himself. “Therefore I am putting it to you, Mr. Simmons, that what you said about that room it sensational and untrue,” McCarthy said. “I don’t agree with you,” Simmons said. “The simple point that I am making in relation to this is to say that you were making these statements while not fully seized of the facts,” the principal’s counsel stated. “Those things are impactful on people and we need to be accurate about them. I think witnesses need to be careful when they are making statements and need to try to be as accurate as possible. “I am also putting it to you Mr. Simmons that the ministry and the board were involved in that process of sanctioning use of the room and also ensuring that it had air conditioning in the room.” Simmons said when he took up the post of chairman in 2008 he “came and found” the room and that he did not recollect it having two windows. (SC)