Minister places convicted fraudster in charge of elderly services

Staff told to prioritise 12th district ‘clients’

 

The Minister for the Elderly, Micheal Farrugia, has recruited convicted fraudster Anthony Ellul to run the Active Ageing and Community Care administration, responsible for all the State’s services for the elderly.

Senior ministry officials told The Shift that following last year’s reshuffle, when Farrugia was given the new portfolio just nine months after taking up the energy Ministry, he ordered Ellul to set up an office at the Active Ageing offices in Qormi and all staff were to report to his ‘advisor’.

The officials said that although Ellul is just a person of trust and does not form part of the public service, all applications connected to elderly services are being scrutinised by him. They said that priority is being given to ‘clients’ residing in the 12th electoral district – Farrugia’s constituency.

Ellul is not known to hold any sort of qualifications in the sector but is one of the main canvassers and personal friends of the Minister.

Asked repeatedly by The Shift to state whether Ellul has been given the obligatory security clearance before his appointment as his advisor, Minister Farrugia did not reply. Neither did he comment on the fact that his advisor has a criminal record or the political direction given to prioritising citizens from his electoral district.

Ellul, who also acts as a Labour Party official during the electoral process, was found guilty of defrauding a bank through counterfeit banknotes and was given a suspended jail sentence in 2003.

In its decision, the court observed that Ellul had “deliberately and consciously provided the bank tellers with a false name, false address and a false ID card number”.

The court also underlined that during a police search of Ellul’s car, more counterfeit dollar banknotes were found.

This is not the first time the close connection between Minister Farrugia and Ellul has been the focus of attention.

In 2013, upon Labour’s election to power, Ellul was appointed by Farrugia as his private secretary. Following the 2017 election, when Farrugia was made responsible for Home Affairs by disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Ellul was appointed chairman of the Prison Board.

Following media reports that Ellul’s appointment was ‘illegal’ due to his criminal record, which by law precludes him from holding such a position, he resigned.

Ellul justified his appointment by stating that it was not fair that he could not contribute due to “a mistake” he had committed years earlier.

Officials from the Active Aging department told The Shift, on condition of anonymity, that although there is an official director in charge of elderly services, all decisions are being taken by Ellul.

They complained that they are being ‘forced’ to discriminate among clients, with those coming from the Minister’s district being given priority.

The department is responsible for various services that have a direct impact on the quality of life of vulnerable people and their immediate families.

These include decisions on who is given a bed at a government residential home for the elderly, as well as those run by the private sector financed through government funds.

Most of the private residential homes for the elderly depend on government contracts. They are paid millions from taxpayers funds every year for the government to purchase beds.

Other services, including the provision of personalised services to the elderly, such as home help, community care, handyman services, respite at home, meals on wheels and dementia day centres are also provided by the same Ministry.

These services are in high demand among the vulnerable and Ministerial intervention could literally change the lives of those involved and their families.

                           
                               
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Paul A. Cordina
Paul A. Cordina
1 month ago

Meritocracy

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 month ago

After all, one wouldn’t wish to risk improving the Labour gene pool by appointing someone who didn’t have a dodgy past.

Betty
Betty
1 month ago

A good friend had told me how he behaved at BOV during the time of Denis Sammut and later had to resign instead of being kicked out of the bank. These rubbish people never change but Farrugia has always run his ministries like a PL party club pit.

Gee Mike
Gee Mike
1 month ago

Thoroughbred Labour!
I guess the criminal record makes him superior!

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
1 month ago

That is in practice – it is just bully bobby’s continuity.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago


Minister Farrugia
knows exactly the kind of criteria which must be met in order to recruit an Active Ageing and Community Care administrator.

Logically, they would be criteria based on a projection of his own pristine ethic in public life.

Why isn’t everyone super-impressed?

Leonard Schembri
Leonard Schembri
1 month ago

In all this I cannot understand how all the professionals, administrators, directors etc working at the AA&CC Department don’t simply walk out to send a clear and direct message to Minister Farrugia. I cannot understand how they take orders from an idiot pretending to be savvy and knowledgable. Playing nice with such people doesn’t work. Take a radical decision and call the media to explain your walk-out. Then you’ll see how he will quickly disappear.

Tony borg
Tony borg
1 month ago

Ghidli ma minn tghamilha u nghidlek x’int! Mhux hekk Dr Farrugia tal quad towers!!!

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