Archive for May 27th, 2010

Man charged in WB killing

| 27/05/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS) Police announced this morning that a 26-year-old man has now been charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm in relation to a West Bay shooting last year. As a result of the new RCIPS policy of not revealing the identity of those charged with crimes the man has not been named. The charges are in connection with the fatal shooting of Marcus Ebanks on Bonaventure Road in West Bay almost one year ago. Two other young men were injured in the same incident which occurred on 7 July– 15 year old Adrian Powell who was 14 at the time is now paralyzed as a result of his injuries and Ebanks’ younger teenage brother also received a gunshot wound.

On the night of the shooting the young men were reportedly chatting outside a house before masked gunmen burst from the bushes and opened fire.
 The incident was one of six fatal shootings of young men in Grand Cayman during 2009 and believed to be a gang related killing.

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$1m spent on gardening leave

| 27/05/2010 | 42 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Headline News(CNS): With at least six senior civil servants still on full pay but not in post, government has now spent around $1 million on gardening leave salaries over the last two years as a number of personnel issues remain unresolved. Despite being cleared by the courts, Deputy Police Commissioner Rudy Dixon (left) has now been on paid leave for over two years and has still not been reinstated. Deborah Drummond, Angela Martins and Dianne Montoya, all senior civil servants, have received a year’s pay but have not been given equivalent posts since changes in senior personnel in the wake of the 2009 election. More recently, the director of the DER, Lonnie Tibbetts, was also placed on leave with full pay.

Also on the list is Grand Court Judge Priya Levers, who has been on full pay for more than 18 months since being placed on suspension by the former governor, Stuart Jack, back in September 2008 while a legal case regarding her conduct in office continues through the courts. Following a tribunal held in Cayman in May last year, the Privy Council is due to examine the tribunal’s report and the case against Justice Levers next month.  
Although Martins, Montoya and Drummond have spent some of the last year working on an internal report examining CINICO and the government’s health service costs, the three senior female civil servants were all previously in positions falling into the public sector’s C band pay bracket of between $127,000 – $147,000 per annum. Martins was the former chief officer in the education ministry, Montoya the chief officer in the ministry of health and Drummond served as Deputy Financial Secretary. None of them have yet been given new full time posts.
As a deputy commissioner in the RCIPS, Dixon, who has been on paid leave for more than two years, falls into the civil service F band and will have received around a quarter of a million dollars since he was suspended from duty in March 2008. Dixon was placed on required leave as a result of the UK investigation into corruption by the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT). Dixon was found not guilty by a jury trial last year on a corruption charge when he was accused of advising officers to release a former police office arrested on a DUI. Since then, the police commissioner has said an internal investigation is now continuing and Dixon has remained on leave.
Meanwhile, Justice Levers has been paid a similar amount during her more than 18 month suspension from the bench, as judges command A grade salaries starting at some $165,000 annually.
Tibbetts, who has been placed on leave from his post as the director of the Department of Employment Relations since February (another F band position), has added around $35,000 to the government’s bill for wages paid to top government workers who are out of office.
CNS contacted the Portfolio of the Civil Service more than one week ago for information on other civil servants who are believed to be still on the pay roll but don’t have work and for any news of a resolution to these senior personnel issues, but is still waiting on a response.

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Violence continues as ‘Dudus’ remains at large

| 27/05/2010 | 19 Comments

Cayman Islands News, World News(CNS): Reports from Jamaica reveal that the death toll is now more than 50 people after the 4-day battle in the country’s capital between gunmen and the Jamaican security forces in the hunt for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke. Although some 500 people have been detained during the civil unrest by the authorities, the wanted man remains at large. This morning the country’s opposition party called for a full investigation of the operation which has taken place in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston. NDM Chairman Peter Townsend said dangerous criminals existed in West Kingston that should be apprehended, but his party had warned that the operation should be carried out with greater precision to avoid loss of life.

 "This warning was obviously ignored and now the country has to face the horror of multiple loss of innocent lives, of residents caught in the crossfire and an embarrassing failure, since only four guns have been reportedly recovered," he said in a statement today.
Meanwhile the whereabouts of ‘Dudus’, who is wanted by the US authorities on drugs and firearms offences, is still a mystery and he is now believed to have left his West Kingston stronghold. Security forces are still looking for the fugitive in the attempt to serve a warrant in connection with the extradition ordered by the country’s premier Bruce Golding. Information Minister Daryl Vaz said Coke’s whereabouts were unclear and has not said whether authorities were certain he was still in Jamaica.
The police claim they now have control over buildings in the area but were combing door to door to search for wanted criminals. According to the Jamaica Observer, Keith Clarke, 58, the brother of former government minister Claude Clarke, was killed early this morning during that door to door search.
Although life is said to be gradually returning to normal in Kingston today, with businesses re-opening in the downtown area, a number of offices, including the Cayman Islands visa office, remain closed. Schools also remained closed and many civilians remain trapped between the local gunmen andnational security forces.

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