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A controversial senior official is quitting a contentious Welsh university where top executives have been suspended and a major investigation is underway into a questionable multi-million pound land deal, admitting to staff it has been a “challenging” time, The Eye can reveal.
The shock news that the headline-grabbing Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Hilary Lappin-Scott is to leave scandal-hit Swansea University comes as yet another anonymous gmail, in which our Editor was mentioned but has been ignored by the mainstream media, was sent to staff and high-ranking Welsh politicians in the continuing extraordinary libellous dirty tricks campaign against the fraud inquiry in which serious “issues” have been referred to the police.
Her admission in a message to staff stands in stark contrast to the official announcement from the new Vice-Chancellor (VC) Paul Boyle which stated: “This is an exciting move for Hilary and I am delighted for her, but she will be much missed at Swansea”.
Professor Lappin-Scott was supported in the internal campaign at Professor Boyle’s institution which said she would lead them to “an era of gold and honey”, yet she had enraged her staff by sending Tweets from glamorous parts of the world on university ‘business’.
The latest scurrilous anonymous gmail in the campaign from ‘Your friend’ said: “It is clear to you now why the witch hunt caused by “The Incompetents” has produced nothing apart from a smokescreen to cover up the real serious issues”.
The message added: “P.S.: Will there be a new rebuttal by Swansea University’s expanding PR team, now made up of xxxx, Sion Barry ([the Western Mail Business Editor] and our own Editor) Phil Parry, or have they referred this matter to MI5 and Steve Chan?”.
Convicted fraudster Steve Chan used to work on a contract at the management school Professor Lappin-Scott oversaw, despite the fact that he had been imprisoned by a court in Boston for four years and three months, and ordered to pay millions of dollars in compensation.
His jail term was followed by three years of supervised release, after he admitted one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of mail fraud, he was also ordered to pay restitution of $12,596,298.
We showed how Chan had even represented the university in advising an international agency on the ways to combat fraud.
Although misspelt, support was clear once more in another message during the dirty-tricks campaign, for Professor Lappin-Scott.
An earlier ‘Your friend’ message said: “Only Hillary can save Professor Boyle from the same incompetents that undermined Richard Davies’ (previous suspended VC) stellar transformation of your Institution for the Region”.
Apart from the suspension of Professor Davies, the Dean of his School of Management, Marc Clement, has also been suspended, as well as several other senior officials during the extraordinary ‘witch-hunt’ inquiry into the multi-million pound Llanelli ‘Wellness Village’ land deal where the police have been called in.
Previous messages have alleged that Professor Davies was ‘crucified’ during the investigation, although women accused of witchcraft were never crucified.
A ‘Your friend’ note came almost immediately after an astonishing statement from Swansea University officials, confirming for the first time that apart from looking into the campaign itself, the police were involved too in investigating major issues that have come to light during the so-called ‘witch-hunt’.
The statement from Swansea’s ‘Associate Director Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Head of Legal and Compliance Services’ stated : “Alongside the University’s internal disciplinary process, there is also on-going police involvement (i) with regard to the issues uncovered during the University’s investigation; and (ii) anonymous communications sent to University staff relating to the suspensions and disciplinary processes. The matters under investigation are very serious. The University has invested a significant amount of resource investigating the alleged misconduct, as have the authorities. It is essential that nothing is done to undermine the on-going processes. They must be allowed to run their course without interference.”
This statement included one of the libellous messages from ‘Your friend’ which was sent from the invented address ‘Vanitas Vanitatum’, an earlier one to staff at the contentious institution concerned an awards ceremony.
It said: “… your Registrar (Andrew Rhodes) was shamelessly picking up Prof Richard Davies’s award – clearly he made (Pro Vice-Chancellor [PVC]) Hillary (Lappin-Scott) stay at home”.
And continued: “I am sure you will all join me in congratulating him (Professor Clement).“
The remarkable statement was Swansea University’s first official response to the anonymous computer messages sent out by ‘Your friend’ in the ‘witch-hunt’ campaign, saying to staff and others formally that many of the so-called ‘facts’ were incorrect.
Senior figures in the ‘Associate Director’s’ department included a gmail/email in the campaign, and said that it would be referred to the police, along with all the previous ones.
The university’s response read: “The below email has been referred to the police to consider, together with the previous anonymous emails that the University’s staff and others have received”.
The statement from the troubled institution, confirmed, also for the first time, that the police are involved too in investigating serious issues that have come to light during the top-level inquiry dubbed a ‘witch-hunt’.
The use of the term ‘witch-hunt’ is intriguing.
The disgraced former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson; contentious US President Donald Trump; as well as ‘Your friend’ undertaking the anonymous computer campaign have all employed the words ‘witch-hunt’.
The controversial Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has also used them as protests grow in the country’s capital against corruption and fraud.
Only yesterday another protest against him in Prague brought tens of thousands on to the streets.
The week before about 120,000 Czechs demonstrated in the largest ever anti-Government protest since the fall of Communism 30 years ago.
There have been several demonstrations against Mr Babis in the last few weeks and each one has been bigger than the previous one.
He is facing criminal charges relating to his alleged misuse of £1.5 million worth of EU funds, but he claims the accusations against him are part of a ‘witch-hunt’.
Mr Trump says he is victim of a ‘witch-hunt’ as prosecutors continue to investigate his tax affairs, and go on looking into the alleged links with Russians who interfered in his election.
Mr Williamson has claimed that the inquiry which led to his sacking had been “a witch-hunt from the start”.
‘Your friend’ at Swansea University has also claimed: “Why is this witch hunt … still continuing?” before we were the first to report that a SIXTH senior official has been suspended as the probe is conducted.
Mr Babis (who along with his wife and other members of his family are all victims of an alleged ‘witch-hunt’) could face between five and 10 years in prison if he is convicted, and appears to model himself on Hungary’s right wing populist leader Viktor Orban,
In the hours after Mr Williamson’s sacking from the UK Government, yet another extraordinary anonymous computer message was sent in the astonishing long-running campaign at Swansea University, and which we have been alone among the Welsh media in reporting.
Perhaps now they will report the background to Professor Lappin-Scott’s resignation.
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 35-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now! The picture doubles as a cut-and-paste poster!