Senior staff exit airport

| 03/02/2014

(CNS): After a career of almost 40 years, theformer acting CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), Kerith McCoy, has retired in the face of a major shake-up of operations at the airport. Caren Thompson-Palacio, CIAA Business Development & Marketing Manager and Information Manager, has also resigned. McCoy formally departs on 14 February and Thompson-Palacio, who said she is pursuing other interests, will depart at the end of February. This latest news comes after a year of scandal at the authority, which began with the suspension and eventual sacking of the pervious airport boss, Jeremy Jackson, and the dismissal of the financial controller, Shelly Ware.

A report given to the previous board last year suggested that money was being misspent and the authority mismanaged. The board itself also became embroiled in the scandal when the extent of the conflicts among the membership was revealed.  Since then, Ware has filed a law suit in an effortto get her job back. A new board has now been appointed, which announced a review of the entire operations at the facility ahead of plans for the redevelopment and expansion of Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman, refurbishment at the airport on Cayman Brac and the possibility of a new runway and airport terminal on Little Cayman. 

The former financial controller is seeking a finding from the courts that not only was there no misconduct on her part but that she was an exemplary employee. In addition, it is understood that Jackson is also planning some form of legal action regarding his treatment.  When both Ware and Jackson were dismissed, McCoy was appointed by the former board as the new CEO. Shortly afterwards details of the extent of the conflicts of interest facing several of the board members were revealed and when the PPM took office it was one of the first statutory authority boards to be overhauled.

The new board then set about reviewing the operations. During that time they reshuffled the staff, moving McCoy, who had taken extended leave as a result or accumulated vacation, from the top job into another position and replacing him with Andrew McLaughlin.

In an email sent to friends, colleagues and business associates on 29 January McCoy announced his decision to retire from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. “I’ve thought hard about this and must admit that after a controversial and demanding 2013 coming shortly after illness,” he said, adding that he had decided that retirement was an "attractive route at this time in my life.” Thompson also stated that her departure was nothing more than a coincidence and had nothing to do with the current review of operations.

The authority is now seeking a full time CEO, a business development manager and a human resource manager after a previous recruitment attempt also caused further controversy.

Although a number of Caymanians had applied for the post, including at least once qualified candidate, the CIAA opted for an expatriate, who was ultimately refused a work permit. As a result the post was re-advertised and a new selection process started.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Politicians are hurting this country just to line their own pockets or their friends & family pockets=a dying nation because of or own people! Sad Caymanian

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seems they had an easier time exciting the airport than I did the other day…one ticket machine still broken from before December and the other crashed just as the BA flight arrived…..just sayin.

  3. Confused says:

    I smell a rat and the truth is coming……hoorah!

    • Anonymous says:

      One must be careful that when an opportunity ariseth they are well prepared to handle what maybe quite a challenge. These days its no longer about ego but skills and abilities acquired.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How about the whole shoddy organisation is closed down and the organisation is privatised?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope the madness end & stop making these islands look bad (Politicians)!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Caymsnians need to unite & stop holding their own people & politicians need to stay out of board, believe it or not they are the reason for this all!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just expats interfering, but Caymsnians?? I should think all home grown Caymanians will have something to say about that! Out with Caymsnians! Keep Cayman Caymanian!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The people on some of those boards are completely out of touch with reality.  Hiding and hindering progress.  Pathetic.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Could you please provide a translation

  7. Anonymous says:

    And we will never know the full story. Cover up. Cover up.

    • Anonymous says:

      It happens all the time.  If you don't join them you're the bad guy.  Stand tall, your name and character speaks for itself.  

  8. Airport Alumni says:

    Mr. McCoy never held the CEO position at CIAA, he was appointed as Acting CEO by the previous Board who never got around to doing a fair recruitment exercise to fill the post permanently with the best possible candidate. When an Acting CEO goes on leave, you don't designate an Acting Acting CEO, you simply designate an alternate Acting CEO. Since Mr. McCoy's decision to retire came while he was on leave its not clear where you got the idea that he was moved to another position. Had Mr. McCoy decided to stay on at CIAA, we can only assume that he would have applied to be interviewed for the CEO role. Kudos to CIAA for doing a proper recruitment for this key positon. Good luck also in finding the best possible person to fill the CHRO role. You are going to need all the pofessional help you can get to straighten out the HR mess over there. 

    CNS: We got the 'idea' from the board and management. See here

  9. Anonymous says:

    One of the many problems is that a few individuals are trying to use their posts as a political launch pad, instead of the business that it is.   They urgently need to stop strutting about and get to work!!  If they are qualified, it will show without them resorting to belittling/humiliating others.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have they left the cat to watch the cheese? Sneeze, it is a joke.

  10. anonymous says:

    Smart of you Kerith…get out of that den of inequity…you are above board person….I can only imagine what you saw after you took over last year….all the best in your retrirement after so many years at that airport, first as an air traffic controller and then in the management of CIAA. Good luck in your future endeavours. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Let the band play on, when the music stops they will all stop dancing.  Their lodge will crumble under them.  

      Make sure you let that cat out of the bad on all of them.  Keep your head high and laugh.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You held your head high, displayed what you was taught, never had to hide behind the bushes and wonder who had the last drink on CIAA.  Let the gang drink on and enjoy their CIAA game.


  11. Anonymous says:

    Good step Ker, let the head wag the dog.

  12. Anonymous says:

    When is there going to be a shake up at other statutory agencies where the same type of shenanigans are occuring. As long as they can "play chruch", they same trash will sprial the quality of any institution down the drain. 


    • Anonymous says:

      YEAH, and when we "play Church" we have to administer the truth!! no twisting.  My Friend Kerith you deserve better, and I wish you a  Happy and Healthy retirement with less gray hairs and no wrinkles.