One of the people in the running to become Malta’s next police commissioner has denied that she obtained her law degree while skiving from police work.
Mary Muscat, a lawyer, law lecturer and former police inspector, cleared the air on Facebook after four traffic officers warned Lovin Malta of a scandal involving high-ranking officers who attend law school during work hours.
Muscat clarified that she graduated as a lawyer under a sponsorship scheme initiated by former Prime Minister Alfred Sant during the late 90s and early 00s.
“There’s a paper trail at the office of the Notary of Government that journalists can check, right down to the general hypothec signed on my property,” she said. “I still did my copious police work along the way, appeared in court in full respect of procedures and deadlines and was lecturing without pay the evening BA Hons Criminology course offered by the Institute of Criminology at University.”
“Again there are records at univ that show that i wasn’t getting paid for it. And I was lecturing in Crime Prevention and Community Policing and supervising dissertations on these subjects way back when community policing was still unheard of within the Police.”
“That’s why I commented that all hell would break loose once the selection process started. Now you know why i was seriously reluctant to apply.”
The university sponsorship scheme Muscat referred to was initiated in the late 90s but stopped by police commissioner John Rizzo in the early 00s.
In 2013, then police commissioner Peter Paul Zammit introduced a flexi-time scheme for officers to study at University but this was dropped by his successor.
Lovin Malta is informed that one of the people who have applied as police commissioner had graduated from law school after he enrolled under this scheme. The applicant, who wants to remain anonymous, is adamant that he never skived.
Traffic officers who spoke to Lovin Malta said it is extremest unfair and unjust that they were arrested last February for allegedly over-declaring hours worked at extra duties when high-ranking officers were allowed to attend university during their work hours.
They warned that some officers even study and do their assignments during work hours and are escorted to university in a police car, leaving their driver wait outside for hours at a stretch until they finish their lectures.