Six cops on leave face criminal charges

| 12/01/2015 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The latest results of an FOI request have revealed that ten police and fire officers have been suspended from duty as a result of criminal charges and investigations.  One police constable has been paid to stay at home since June 2009 due to an ongoing criminal case. There are six police officers and four firefighters currently on required leave, adding to the recent revelations on CNS that three customs officers and six immigration officials are also being paid not to work while investigations and criminal cases drag on.

In the latest results from government agencies in response to the freedom of information request on the numbers of government workers who are suspended from work but being paid a full-time salary the fire service confirmed that three of its officers had been on paid required leave for almost eleven months. The officers were suspended last February because of an ongoing police investigation. A fourth officer has been on leave since last April as a result of drug related charges.

Meanwhile, the police themselves said that five police constables and one sergeant had been suspended. In addition to the constable, who has been paid not to work for five and a half years due to a criminal case, five other officers have been placed on required leave in relation to what police described as a “criminal trials”. Two PCs were suspended in October and November of 2012 and a third in October 2013. Last year a sergeant and a PC were suspended in May as a result of non-specified criminal offences.

These ten uniformed officers are in addition to six suspensions in the immigration department, three in customs and one in the planning department.

CNS is still waiting for a number of other core government agencies to supply their information but we are aware of several teachers and other public sector workers who are being paid not to go to work. The latest government employee to be suspended is Kenny Bryan, who although a political appointee is paid from the public purse. Following allegations made against him by the police the premier placed him on required leave in December.

However, it appears to be government’s enforcement agencies and uniform branches that have the most people on enforced leave as a result of criminal allegations or investigations relating to abuse of office. The police, fire department, customs and immigration account for at least 19 paid suspensions.

With government workers paid to stay home as investigations drag on for years, not only is the public purse footing the bill, co-workers are having to cover for their suspended colleagues.

Speaking to CNS last week, Ezzard Miller lamented the ongoing suspensions, including what could prove to be the very costly suspension of the chief immigration officer.

The North Side MLA said government should consider whether it would be more effective to cut the paid leave down to half of the given worker’s salary, which would, he said, provide the impetus to the civil servant to cooperate and push the investigations to clear their names. If the allegations come to nothing, Miller said, the workers could then apply for the missing backpay.

Not all government departments have yet revealed the number of suspended workers but CNS understands that the true figure could be substantial, with a hefty salary and benefits bill to match.

An immigration officer facing criminal charges relating to the altering the immigration database has been on required leave on full pay for more than five years. Due to jury problems, the case was adjourned and is now expected to commence in February.

Elvis Ebanks, one of the police officers on required leave since November 2012, also went through three trials, because of problems with translators, before he was convicted. Despite being convicted, he remains on required leave and bail having appealed the guilty verdict.

Lengthy delays in investigations and problems in the court system are seeing cases dragging on for years and, as a result, even workers lower down the salary scale are draining resources from the still cash-strapped public purse.

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Comments (7)

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  1. fedup ofallbs says:

    He closes one door and opens others

  2. rohelio says:

    So what relation is this officer to you?. What is the extreme cost when they get their full salary and can go out and get another full time job. The reason it’s taking so long is probably because the investigating officer has also been suspended! The word here applying to all these cases is DYSFUNCTIONAL!.

  3. You Gotta Be Kidding Me! says:

    Cut the CRAP!! Suspend without pay until charges have been dropped/ dismissed! If they win their cases…. Pay them what would have been owed to them! There is no way Government will recoup the monies paid out once if proven GUILTY!! Such a LOSS and WASTE of resources… because I’m sure these officers have been replaced while they have been on suspension!!

  4. Fred the Piemaker says:

    How on earth is he still on required leave despite a first instance conviction? What are they waiting for, final appeal to the Privy Council in a couple of years? Quite apart from the criminal conviction, the man’s defence was that he accepted a loan from a suspect. Even if true that would be gross misconduct for a police officer. It looks like no matter the evidence of misconduct, the government is incapable of firing people absent a conviction beyond appeal i.e. they would rather pay people not to work for years than have the b£$&s to fire them based on a civil standard. Meantime those employees not accused of dishonesty are expected to actually work for their pay. SMH.

  5. guest says:

    How many of these ‘required leave’ are work permit holders and how many are Residents and Caymanian? Presumably all? l I have worked for a large public organization in the US, and we were unlucky to have one suspended, let alone NINETEEN. Really…. since 2009???????

  6. Stunned! says:

    Wow! This is so abdurd it borders on unreal!! If the RCIPS situation, Customs & Immigration Departments’ situation, Postal Service report, $1 billion missing and the sad situation at CIAA and the Port Authority are not enough to convince the “powers that be” that the entire public service is a total mess what is??!! Deputy Governor, do you realize that anywhere you, many of your Chief Officers and many heads of SAGCs would be terminated??!!!

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