Premier dodges CoP issue

| 08/12/2014

(CNS): The country’s leader dodged the issue relating to the police commissioner Monday when he made his first public comment about David Baines presiding over the recruitment of a Jamaican police officer charged with murder. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Premier Alden McLaughlin said that he and the government were “very conscious of the concerns” relating to the commissioner’s performance and the calls by for him to be removed from office but called on his political colleagues to “exercise restraint”. The premier made no comment onwhether he believed the police boss should resign but admitted the revelation was shocking.

McLaughlin said the police commissioner is appointed by the governor and since she is away for another week following the trip to London for the Joint Ministerial Council, he asked the parliament to wait for him to talk with her about the issue and give her the chance to address the concerns.

In a short statement he referred to Bernie Bush’s proposal to bring a private member's motion calling for a declaration of no confidence in the commissioner from the Legislative Assembly. The premier said he had grave doubts about the constitutionality of such a motion but acknowledged it was an example of the strength of feeling in relation to Commissioner Baines.

“Despite the emotive nature of this matter, I urge all members of the House to exercise restraint in what is said and done in relation to this issue and to not act pre-emptively. If we act in haste we are likely to repent at our own expense,” he said, falling short of offering the commissioner his continued support. He did, however, acknowledge that the news that a now convicted murderer had been working in the RCIPS was “shocking”.

“The commissioner is appointed by the governor and does not fall under the remit of the elected government. Her Excellency is currently out of office and will not return until next Monday. I ask all members of this House to exercise patience to enableme to discuss this matter with Her Excellency the Governor and to give her the opportunity to address the concerns raised,” he added.

In a further statement to the Legislative Assembly, the premier, who is responsible for home affairs, pointed to several other uncomfortable issues in his ministry this week, including the suspension of the chief immigration officer, Linda Evans, and the director of immigration boards, Kimberly Davis. He also noted the revelation and resignation of an officer who was recruited to the prison service with an undeclared criminal record.

As well as the suspension of the two senior immigration officials, he noted that a third was facing charges in the court this summer. Although he did not name anyone, it is understood he was referring to Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Gary Wong, who is facing a drinking and driving charge.

“While I do not want to get into specifics, it has been noted that two top immigration department officials are on paid suspension and a third faces charges before our court system next year,” the premier said in his first public discussion of some of the issues facing his ministry.

He also noted that his own political assistant had been placed on required leave as a result of charges in the court. Although Kenneth Bryan is not a civil servant, the premier told the LA that he was following the example laid out by the civil service as there is no formal protocol for political appointees. 

Despite what he described as his great concern over the issues, he said that he was “satisfied that the appropriate actions have been taken in each instance” and said he expected thorough and efficient investigations.

McLaughlin said he wanted to assure the country that the Progressives-led Administration was doing all that it could to continue to restore and maintain the good name of the Cayman Islands.

“In so doing will dig deep when allegations are made of wrongdoing,” he said. ”Placing our employees on administrative leave in no way implies their guilt of any accusation. It is a formality to protect them and the integrity of each investigation. This government will continue to take seriously and investigate any and all reports of maladministration and misconduct. If we cannot restore the faith of all in the Cayman Islands, then we have failed to do what was mandated of us in the polls in May 2013.”

See related stories on CNS:

Officer resigns from jail

MLA aims to bring down CoP

Immigration boss suspended

Category: Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is this all focusing on the CoP? The hiring process threw up a Jamaican Police officer at work, with job and personal recomendations with no indication of investigation ongoing.  Was the CoP supposed to have a crstal ball.

    On that baic, Eric Bush and Franz Manderson must be next in line given the list of issues that are nothing to do with the police!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Paid leave! All I can hear is paid leave!

    Only in Cayman will the government pay you to stay home after committing serious infractions against your contracted obligations of employment. I cannot stand the hypocrisy of this island any longer.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you mean while it is being investigated whether you committed serious infractions against your contract of employment. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Surely he shouldn't be paid out of our pockets if he did commit those infractions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I gather that dodgeball has been added to the Olympics for 2016. As Cayman's representative, Alden should do us proud.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden is no dodger. You should have seen the way he had Foolio dodging punches in the LA a few years back.

  4. If it quacks like a duck... says:

    Well, this really isn't all about some convicted murderer being hired by the RCIPS – what this is all about is a Commissioner who isn't getting the job done but is being paid top dollars to enjoy the warm climate.  This is about a man who never gained the complete trust of the community (15 men responsible for the crime on these islands), a man who oversaw an exponential escalation in crime, a man who has few ideas and fewer answers as to how to put an end to the present crime wave.  This is also about a man who during his stay here has overseen the dismantling of a  2nd world organization into that of a 3rd world one.  Lastly, this is about a man who is unable to guarantee your personal safety, even though he has pledged to do exactly that. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Alden ain't going to say anything against anyone of the queens boys he's the perfect yes man for them..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey, didnt Eric Bush and his Home Affairs Ministry just win an award a few months ago for being the "BEST PLACE TO WORK"?

  7. Hear hear! says:

    Derek Haines letter to the Editor regarding this matter once again shows the mettle of this man. People have been calling for him to come back, but he is happy retired from police work. His letter was factual and his support of Baines is fair. Well done Derek, let's hope you have quieted the politicians who speak before they think.

  8. Whodatis says:

    (Translation) Premier: "Please calm down folks. I am going to have a meeting to discuss the agent of an entitiy with another agent of the same entity to see what 2nd agent thinks about the performance and potential removal of the 1st agent."

    Hands up who believes there is a snowball's chance in hell of a change of leadership in her majesty's RCIPS?

    Re-post: Never in my living memory have I ever heard so many calls for the resignation of a RCIPS CoP from such a broad cross-section of the community.

    Personally, I have no faith in the UK-controlled RCIPS, and my reasons are on record, however for those that still believe the UK ultimately holds the best interest of the Cayman Islands at heart – Baines has proven to be not up to scratch.

    However, this is not a debate over the personality of the CoP or how well he can run over and cripple a fleeing suspect. This latest episode is about the facts surrounding the hiring of a (foreign) officer that turned out to be a corrupt, conspiring, and cold-blooded murderer. An individual that was elevated to a position of armed power, utilized trust and state-backed authority, and let loose within this unsuspecting population of "British" nationals. We all know that on the mainland heads would roll for such an epic failure.

    In fact, what IS the position of the UK and FCO on this matter? How do they feel about Baines bringing their international organisation into such disrepute?

    Or will we simply see the classic, colonial shifting of the goalpost when it comes to the welfare of the lowly natives – given that we don't warrant a duty of care equal or close to "real Brits"?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you have faith in a Caymanian run RCIPS?  Are ANY of the  Caymanian run ministries doing any better.  No.  Worst, worst, and way worst.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman corrupt or British corrupt are both the same. Until men are held accoiuntable for their actions, we will always have this problem.

        If people just followed the golden rule, there would be none of these problems. Some people unwisely think they can get away with greed and corruption. No you cannot. Everyones day is coming.

    • Datisme says:

      Who belives there is a snowballs chance in hell of a change in leadership in Grand Cayman from incompetent, unreliable, and no morals or integrety to leaders who can get the job done and not steal the country blind?  Is the epic continued failure of just about all that government is here even a concern to the lowly natives?  Its hard to take you seriously when you are so one sided.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Heads should roll – lets start with the head of HR for RCIPS – oh, wait…

  9. Local Yokel says:

    Why does the Premier need a Political Assistant when the assistant in question has no tangible political experience, other than failing to get himself elected?

    What possible justification can there be for this hire?

    Does politics always have to combine inflated ego with swaggering mediocrity?

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    The premier would dodge his own shadow much less dodge real issues. The solution to get crime under control is to get rid of Baines and hire someone who has leadership, management and law enforcement training and who will not be afraid to call a spades a spade. This holier than thou mentality of policing isn't working. Get your ass out on the streets and talk to the common person and hear their concerns and get your ass out of the a/c Chargers, Explorers and Tauruses and walk the streets. Do REAL community policing.

  11. Biggert says:

    I find your headline misleading. The Premier gave a comprehensive statement and explained that the COP is appointed by the Governor and asked for leave to address the concerns with her on her return.

    This is what strong, calm leaders do. They follow process and don't go off half-cocked or play to the lowest common denominator. That type of behavior is exactly what destroys our reputation. Investors have confidence in leadership that is guioded by the law when things go wrong.

    In addition, the Premier's statement adds a new level of transparencey that has been missing in our governance for some time.

    Well done Alden. Keep up the good work and may continue to God Bless You.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lets wait and see whether McLaughlin has the balls to ignore the beying of the lynch mob.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Politico double-speak.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This guy has no idea on how to run a country 3 more years of the progressives and we will be so deep in the hole we wont be able to climb out.

    The only thing the progressing is a human hurricane that will ruin Cayman. Clueless bunch

  15. Anonymous says:

    All politicians will one day have to stand before God Almighty to give account for the faith of their constituents' vote.

    This gives me great hope.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Another day another BS excuse from Alden and his merry men SMH.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It amazes me that our politicians can hide under the coat of "its the responsibility of the Governor", when it is convenient to do so. But will blast off their mouths when the public does not care to be showered with manure.

    For Christ sake, grow a pair!

    • Anonymous says:

      19:59.You need to use a different tactic,this one is lame.

    • Anonymous says:

      19:59.In case you are in doubt:HE the Governor has responsibility for the hiring and firing of the Commisioner of Police.You might not like it ,but that is the way it is.So maybe your pair is too big for you.Be careful,might get you in trouble.

    • Anonymous says:

      It amazes me that the Caymanian people are OK with this kind of leadership. What does this say about them?

  18. Anonymous says:

    The Premier's position as presented to the LA is a required stand at this time. The elected members cannot remove the Commissioner. However, they should never forget or try to bypass the fact that they control the funding for the post and, if necessary, act with that fact in mind.

    The true fact, and this will play out, is that the FCO will decide on this matter and instruct Her Excellency. The Premier will submit to that directive. We will have to wait and see whether FCO acknowledges the Commissioner's failures and agrees that he should be replaced. Hopefully his replacement will not be Shaun Wright who recently resigned in the wake of a scandal in Rotherham, or someone of the like. Knowing the past instances of our Commissioners being recruited from the Midlands/Yorkshire/Lancashire areas, one would not be surprised.  

    • Anonymous says:

      "Control funding for the police". May I remind you of what happened when the previous PPM govt. withheld funding for payments due to the abuses of Operation Tempura? The Governor simply used his reserved powers and took it any way.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Alden YOU have taken responsibility for immigration. That means when criminals enter our borders it is because YOUR systems and controls have failed.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. Try again. The police are civil servants. Someone who is hired by the police does not need a work permit. Once he was hired there as no basis for Immigration to stop his entry. I am always so amused how people are quick to blame Caymanians even when there is no responsibility and quick to exonerate the expats who are obviously responsible.

    • Hear, Hear! says:

      There is 50% responsibilty from Jamaica, but yes…5 minutes of HR work should have found this.

      Immigration is a joke.  The FOIs show WHY the managers are being suspended and it is about time that corruption ends at Immigration (It is World Anti-Corruption Day)

      and ask Franz about all the expat contract renewals, Civil Service is NOT hiring qualified locas.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Paralysis By Analysis is the modus operandi of PPM

    • Anonymous says:

      18:41.PPM,better get out your CNS commenters because UDP is busy using theirs.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Did he say if MLAs and Judges will also get the 4% pay rise coming up for the civil service??

  22. Anonymous says:

    …as expected!