Jumping the gun
September 10th 2009
Council bosses in Edinburgh have launched an investigation against a senior council manager in charge of getting homeless people off the city's streets, after he apparently suggested a problem case should be taken to Belarus and shot. An email sent from his address to three senior figures in his department about a humanitarian scheme in Belarus for homeless people was then forwarded on, apparently accidentally, to more than 70 staff in the department.
The message was sent with an email on the Stand International scheme, which will see 20 young homeless volunteers and eight team leaders from Scotland take part in a humanitarian project. In the email, Mr Smith told three of his superiors that homeless client William Godsell, 54, could "lie about his age and take up this wonderful opportunity" in Belarus. "They might then employ a solution to Mr Godsell's homelessness via Mr Kalashnikov's tried and trusted method of dealing with 'issues'," he wrote.
Sources within the homelessness department say they were concerned Mr Smith had not been treated in the same way as other staff who have been suspended over emails. One member of staff said: "I'm ashamed to think that he is our leader. It is a disgusting way for someone in that position to act."