Security In Chaos, Henn Leaves A Former Pension Cashier
in Charge as Car and C.V. Questions Mount
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
October 28 -- The head of security
for the UN in New York, Bruno Henn, traveling overseas for a conference
Middle East, has named as his interim replacement his own
officer, Gert Schmidt, who sources tell Inner City Press is not
lead the protection of UN Headquarters. This despite the two reports on
bombing of UN premises in Algiers in December criticizing the UN for
unqualified people in charge of security.
sources link Henn's transfer of
responsibility to a "bureaucrat" who until recently worked not in
security or law enforcement but as a Cashier in the UN Pension Fund to
strategy to surmount questions
recently raised about his resume and his
personal use of a UN security vehicle to drive to and from his New
Not unlike a rogue stock broker who can only hand over his trading
a trusted underling in order to not be found out, they say, Henn has
Schmidt in command. But does this serve the cause of UN security?
Department of Safety and Security is in chaos. After the first inquiry
Algiers bombing, Chief David
Veness announced his resignation. But with no
replacement yet named, he is still in the post. His Deputy, Diana
Pennacchio-Russler, had reportedly put in for retirement, but now
has thrown her hat in the ring to replace Veness. In this scenario,
a promotion to her post, from the D-1 to D-2 pay scale. The questions
c.v. and the four year personal use of a UN vehicle are not helpful.
Schmidt hold down the fort?
defense to his use of the vehicle, which recently ended, was that
Secretary General for Management Christopher Burnham approved it. But
tell Inner City Press that Burnham was not told the whole story, and
any event, Henn used the car before getting any permission. And see
below. Inner City Press asked at the October 28 noon briefing if there
was any denial of Gert Schmidt being put in charge of security, or any
read-out on the Chief Executives Board meeting of October 25 including
on Security, but none has yet been provided.
Bruno Henn, at right, some years ago: DSS going to the dogs?
an incident in which two security officers were severely injured in a
one-vehicle crash of a UN scooter has gone uninvestigated, sources say
under Henn's watch, insufficient training had been provided. Those
in the United States on G-4 visas tied to the UN employment, and so are
pushing for their rights. And so it goes in the UN.
Flashback to Inner
City Press' October 23 footnote, updated: UN
Security held a town hall meeting
October 22 in the Dag Hammarskjold Library auditorium.
Press was excluded from the meeting, subsequent interviews revealed
that D-2 level director
Moh'D Ali Bani Faris did most of the talking -- "incomprehensible,"
more than one officer pegged him -- while his D-1 association Bruno
almost nothing. An officer remarked that in the audience was one
Armstrong, formerly of the US Pentagon and now reportedly held down by
friends in the name of bureaucratic rules for promotion that Henn
not follow. There is also a brewing issue of Henn's personal use of a
on which the Spokesperson's office told Inner City Press:
"Hi Matthew -- I heard
you'd been asking about whether Bruno Henn had
recently returned the keys of a UN vehicle that had belonged to the
detail; I just wanted you to know that the car that Mr Henn has been
one that he was authorised to use, and that he routinely returns the
that vehicle when it is not in use by him. In other words, there's
unusual about him returning the keys last week, as he does at other
that the vehicle can be serviced or employed for other uses."
City Press' sources say that an inquiry has begun into the value of
personal use of the car, whether rules were complied with and whether a
previously granted by the UN Department of Management was obtained on
pretenses. To these questions, too, we shall return.
And now we have returned -- with more to follow.
Watch this site, and this
Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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