Senior cop to return to work

| 28/08/2009

(CNS): Speculation that Chief Superintendent John Jones was returning to his post was confirmed today (Friday 28 August) when Police Commissioner David Baines announced Jones was exonerated. Bains said there would be no disciplinary action taken against Jones and he would be back to work on Monday 31 August. The new commissioner said Jones had conducted himself “professionally” throughout the Operation Tempura investigation, during which the senior officer had been suspended, and said he was pleased he was returning to his job.

“Chief SuperintendentJones has at all times conducted himself responsibly and professionally since being placed on required leave on 27 March, 2008.  He remains a valuable RCIPS member and I am delighted that he will be back on duty next week,” Baines statein in a release from GIS, in which he said he had discussed the situation with the governor, who reportedly agreed with Baines and supported Jones’ return to work.

Governor Stuart Jack, who was responsible for the work of the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) which was conducting Operation Tempura, suspended Jones almost 18 months ago on 27 March 2008.

The chief superintendent was accused of being involved in an alleged illegal entry by Lyndon Martin to the offices of Cayman Net News, where Martin worked at the time.

CS Jones was put under formal investigation on 15 May for possible misconduct in a public office and was not cleared until 1 May 2009 by former Acting Commissioner of Police James Smith, when he announced that no criminal charges would be laid against Jones and all inquiries were concluded.

Since then, Baines said, a review had been conducted to determine whether or not disciplinary action was warranted against Jones. Baines stated that, after considering the officer’s alleged administrative failings, he concluded that a disciplinary hearing would be disproportionate in light of the alleged breach of conduct. “Chief Superintendent Jones demonstrated great dignity during the most trying times, serving as a reminder to all that judgements as to innocence or guilt should only be made once all facts have been thoroughly investigated,” the commissioner added.

Ironically, Jones will be returning to work on the day that Martin goes to trial for matters relating to the clandestine entry into Net News, where Martin was supposedly trying to secure evidence that Desmond Seales, the owner of the paper, and Anthony Ennis, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, may have been in a corrupt relationship.

CNS understands that Jones is on the witness list for the trial, along with former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan, who was also cleared of criminal charges in May of this year but is not returning to work as he was sacked by the governor during the Operation Tempura investigation. Kernohan has since filed suit against the office of the police commissioner and the SIO of SPIT, Martin Bridger, as well as Attorney General Samuel Bulgin and Governor Stuart Jack.

The speculation over Jones’ return caused some disquiet among the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) in May when some members of the police association had said he should not come back. One former police officer told CNS that members may even walk off the job if he returned.

In the wake of the announcement that the former Commissioner Kernohan and Jones had been cleared and the subsequent damages claims, Deputy Commissioner Ennis wrote to the press saying he had suffered injustice and laboured privately with the shock and disbelief for 15 months over what he has called the “reprehensible and egregious acts” that he says were brought against him by the former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and others.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Its unfortunate that such re-instatements were not afforded to other outstanding officers (of a more junior rank) who were also suspended on false charges and exonerated after years of having to exist on half pay, then no pay at all. But some how i think such an option is only available to officers of a particualr color and/or nationality.


    It is tragic that such injustice could be occuring in an institution charged with up holding law, order and justice. Can you say IRONIC?!?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I fell for Mr. Jones and his family for going through this for so long, I am happy to see him return.  He was an outstanding Police Officer. 

    But, then I feel worse for the Cayman Government that for so long had to issue a full salary  If a Caymanian is suspended from work they are given half pay. These are some of the things that have causes the problems in our country.  I do hope that in future when these investations there are good grounds for them to be done.  Is Mr Rudy Dixon getting full pay?  I do hope that Mr Dixon is able to return to his job after he is cleared of the simple charges. So strange all if this have taken place. We can only pray that the Government has learnt from this. 

    Thanks for posting this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since when is interferening with the course of justice by a senior police officer by allegedly seeking to preventing investigations into serious crime involving friends/family members ever considered a simple charge?  If any senior officer is convicted of such an offence I would hope they end up doing serious time in jail.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh Yes – welcome back!  Sorry there is no money to pay you next month though!

  4. Anonymous says:

    A word of advice to Mr. Baines if you should read this.

    Please contact Mr. Denham Bodden (Chief Fire Officer) to have a fire tanker on standby, loaded with water/foam which you will surely need to extinguish the flames that will result from this decision.

    I suspect that the former alleged accused along with many of his associates will be heavily buring their lamp oil this weekend and jamming their telephone lines, being in shock and awe as to this new development. Dosen’t surprise me.

    Remember, you are dealing with some of the greatest strategist in the world and while the mission is well underway, by no means is it yet complete or accomplished.

    Good Luck.





  5. Mansfield Cumming says:

    Is that a light that I see at the end of the tunnel?

    And no, I do not think that it’s a train this time.

    Best of luck JJ.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very pleased to see that good sense has prevailed.

    It is a pity that he has been put through practically a year and a half of worry and uncertainty.

    Take the shame Bridger.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hooray!  I am so happy that such an experienced and excellent officer is returning to the RCIP.  I believe he has much to offer and will help to improve the ongoing problems which have plagued the force until now.  Justice has prevailed.


  8. David R. Legge says:

    Just wishing Chief Superintendent John Jones all the best upon his return to service. His suspension, along with that of former RCIPS Commissioner Stuart Kernohan, was reprehensible and represents one of Cayman’s darkest chapters in gubernatorial and political injustice.

    The final chapter – or indeed the first chapter if this sorry scenario ends up in a book – is still to be written.

  9. Fizzla says:

     Solid as rock they cannot stop us now welcome back Mr Jones

  10. Da player says:

    Thank the lord we won’t have to deal with no more PPM orchestated strategic overviews and crime keeps getting worse everytime we hear it . No more actors either. Welcome back Jonesy tell dem don’t hate player hate da game.A few pounds short and penny wiser.