Divided opinions as NESOL head admits to drug conviction 25 years ago, and Paulwell calls for her firing

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Carolyn Warren, the Managing director of National Energy Solutions Limited (NESOL) has admitted that she does have a conviction. Warren admitted to the conviction Thursday night, saying that it happened in 1993 and that she was given a suspended sentence.

She said that for the past 25 years of her life she had dedicated herself to working with young people to ensure they don't make the same mistake she did.

Since then, she has turned her life around, gone back to school and earned an undergraduate degree in management and is now currently pursuing a Master's degree in business administration.

She also said she spent years in the private sector and has developed a reputation for her dedication and professionalism.

"I spent 14 years at Nationwide News Network rising to a sales manager. I also worked at a major financial institution for many years and I have also done major work with other large businesses in Jamaica after my mistake," Warren said in a statement.

"I am dedicated to my church, my family and the many people I work with over the years," she said, adding that she has applied to have her record expunged.

"I am not the same person I was 25 years ago. I made a mistake, I paid for it then, and I suspect I will pay for it the rest of my life," she said.

"Whatever my fate, I will continue to work in my church and make a contribution to young people to ensure that others are not mislead and make the same mistake I did 25 years ago. I did not disclose my mistake of 25 years ago because I know most persons would judge me by that past mistake and for that I also apologise. I am not the same person I was 25 years ago, but if must pay for that mistake again with this job I will do so and rebuild my life once again with the help of God," Warren said.

Paulwell, the Opposition People's National Party spokesman on energy had earlier Thursday night called Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in his capacity as minister of energy, to immediately relieve Warren of her duties because she has a record of conviction for drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, there has been a lot of support for Warren: I think this lady should be allowed to keep her job even if only to serve as encouragement to those who made a mistake in their youthful days. We need to send the right message of encouragement to people and young people in particular," said one commenter

"I think anyone who disclosed this information in this out of order manner should be relieved of their duty for there is a right and wrong way about doing these things".

Another reader, agreed, saying that, "I'd rather back a decent person who has learned from their mistakes..."

"Jamaica suffers greatly because of old youthful mistakes being used to crush people who have risen far from their mistake. Let's not forget that this is all while many in the upper echelons of money and politics pretend to be squeaky clean. Enough with this farce," the reader commented.

Others, however, backed Paulwell in calling for Warren's immediate sacking.

"Mr Prime Minister, you cannot have a convicted drug trafficker who spent three years in prison working in management position in a government entity."

"Don't get me wrong, she can be employed in government, but not in the capacity of management. Get her out fast. It is not good".

Another user, Cane Curtter, chided Warren for not disclosing her conviction in the first place.

"Her mistake of 25 years ago isn't the issue, failure to disclose before accepting the job is."