Friday, August 5, 2016

Leader of British inquiry into child sex abuse quits after one year

I'm terribly sorry.
LONDON — In an embarrassment to Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, the chairwoman of a major inquiry into the sexual abuse of children resigned late Thursday, the third person to leave the post since the inquiry was announced two years ago.

The sudden resignation of the inquiry’s leader, Justice Lowell Goddard of New Zealand, followed newspaper reports that her annual pay and benefits totaled more than 500,000 pounds ($656,000), and that she had spent more than 70 days working abroad or on vacation during her first year on the job.

Goddard was appointed by May in February 2015 during her tenure as home secretary after two other inquiry leaders resigned over perceived conflicts of interest. Goddard, a High Court judge in New Zealand, resigned in a two-sentence letter without giving a reason for her decision, but she said in a statement later that she should never have accepted the job.

Accepting it was “an incredibly difficult step to take, as it meant relinquishing my career in New Zealand and leaving behind my beloved family,” she said.

“I am confident there have been achievements and some very real gains for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in getting their voices heard,” she continued.

Her resignation appeared to have been accelerated by the news reports about her absence from Britain despite her large remuneration, which was 3.5 times the salary of the prime minister, who makes 143,462 pounds a year.  (more...)

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