Ex-firefighter was on year-long paid leave in gun case

| 05/06/2017 | 39 Comments

(CNS): Officials from the home affairs ministry confirmed that Fabian Thompson was on paid leave for more than a year after he was charged in May last year for possession of an imitation firearm with intent. The ministry stated that he had been advised in writing on Thursday, 1 June 2017, some four weeks after he was remanded in custody following his conviction, that his employment as a fire officer was terminated with immediate effect. 

Thompson had been placed on required leave from the Cayman Islands Fire Service after he was charged in the case on 18 May. He was tried in May of this year and convicted by Justice Malcolm Swift, who jailed him on 1 June for five and a half years.

The problem of civil servants being on full pay and benefits for months, even years, while they await criminal cases presents a major challenge for public sector management. More than two dozen civil servants currently remain on required leave, the majority of which relate to criminal charges. Just today, officials revealed that another customs officer had joined the list of civil servants, especially uniform officers like immigration and firefighters, who are suspended from their jobs.

Last year during Finance Committee, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson pointed out the difficulties when cases drag on. For example, one civil servant had been suspended on full pay and benefits for more than four years before being exonerated and returned to work.

He said that the service was looking into ways to resolve the situation of public sector workers on leave for very long periods on full pay as they wait for court decisions. Manderson said that where it was clear there was a breach of civil service protocols, it could be possible to deal with their circumstances before cases reach the courts. He said he was looking to see if civil service regulations could accommodate disciplinary hearings and possible removal from the service.

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Category: Crime

Comments (39)

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  1. Me says:

    What about the other 2 fire men who been off for 3 years? Remember the onez that share picture with hanging woman. they still off too




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  2. jotnar says:

    And here we have a nice example of why the current system encourages employers to hire expats. Private sector expat with an employee accused of a criminal offence? Hardline option – fire them, revoke their WP, and they are gone – no one around to complain about their employee rights. Softer option – suspend them, but don’t renew their contract or WP, and they are gone as of the expiry of their WP.

    Caymanian? Option a)and you end up in an unfair dismissal claim. And option b) doesn’t work for Caymanians – you are in it for the long haul – no idea how long its going to take to get to a verdict. And the sad thing is the civil service employs option b) routinely for expats, but pretends it treats all civil servants the same. But all Caymanian civil servants remain on paid leave until proven guilty, irrespective of how long or how expensive that is, and irrespective of whether they are finally convicted.

    How about this? You dismiss civil servants where the uncontested facts demonstrate a complete breakdown in the standards of behaviour we expect of civil servants, irrespective of whether criminal charges are eventually proven For example, fleeing from police and having to be tasered to stop, harbouring illegal immigrants, claiming your hit and run was perpetrated by a man whom you knew was not only an illegal but a drug dealer whom you did not report, failing to report your vehicle being damaged in a (fatal) accident you don’t remember whilst you were driving on the same route so it can be eliminated from suspicion…Not exactly a high bar surely? Since when do civil servants get a pass on civilised behaviour?




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  3. Alice says:

    10:55. Are you a poor performer?

    Just because you are not getting the answer you want doesn’t mean that the DG isn’t doing his job.

    Look at yourself shape up.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Fireman. He was a fireman not a firefighter. The concept that there was a problem with the term “firemen” was an affectation of the PC mob.




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  5. Cybel Serviant says:

    Bernie might still make him Chief when he gets out.




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  6. Round of Applause says:

    At this rate, soon won’t be anyone left in the Fire Service, Customs or Immigration Dept. Great job guys! Make us Caymanians proud!!
    Let’s just keep on wasting money, excellent job Government! Children going to school hungry, classrooms and school equipment falling apart amongst so many other problems that plague the Cayman Islands are not being fixed due to Government not having the funds while criminals are getting a paid vacation. I love this country!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      10:24 am When since government was/ is responsible for children going to school hungry? If the parents can’t feed them, whose responsibility it is? Dont get them in thein the first place, then you don’t have to expect government to feed them. Be responsible and use birth control. Children are poor people’s legacy. It is like having an expensive car and not being able to maintain it.




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    • Anonymous says:

      In the US statistics say that the average person drives drunk 55 times before the first arrest. Would the same ratio apply to civil servants?




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Funny how you don’t hear a peep from those bloated politicians when it comes to born here Caymanians ripping off the people of the Cayman Islands. No, instead that incite us versus them for votes while proclaiming the same old driftwood rhetoric.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Very easy solution that no politician in Cayman is prepared to even consider: Fund the criminal justice system properly so that no one has to wait years for a trial and risk a miscarriage of justice as a result.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Fired them and let them proof they didn’t break the law and sue the government…




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  10. Norman says:

    If a person is innocent until proven guilty, how come anyone who works for Government is immediately put on paid leave if they are charged with a criminal offence? If they are bailed, then they should be free to work. There seems no need to prevent them turning up for work – it is in fact discriminatory as it suggests the worker is indeed guilty, and isolates him/her, whether or not they receive pay.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree, they should be fast-tracked for trial. EMS, HM Customs, and Immigration staff need to be held to a higher and different standard of professional conduct given their position of trust and authority. The apparent frequency of these abuses makes these offenses all the more troubling. It should be made crystal clear to all CIG employees what will happen if they are suspected of breaching this trust.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Norman has no idea. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a very narrow concept, namely a presumption in a criminal trial itself that the burden of proof rests upon the prosecution. It means no more than that. There is no need for anyone outside the court process to treat someone accused of a crime of being innocent of that crime until and unless they are found guilty




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    • Anonymous says:

      I can see why a person cannot remain in their job whilst an investigation is ongoing. That said, surely if they are to receive pay for lengthy periods then the person could be given another temporary post? But on the other hand the criminal justice system needs to clean up its act so relatively straightforward cases like these can be sorted quickly.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Customs, Immigration and the Fire Service. All notable public protectors that are notoriously staffed by Caymanians.
    Yes, that’s right, not Jamaicans, Philipinos or Brits, in fact expats are positively discriminated against in regard to recruitment.

    When will the nationalist idiots finally realise that Cayman is incapable of protecting itself, when will integrity, honesty, professionalism and courage become the over arching mantra, instead of public pensions and self interest.
    When will experience, skill and hard work be more important that nationality?

    Clear these parasites out, they do no service to Caymanians nor do they represent the honest and intelligent who recognise that nationality discrimination and blind obedience to self interest is damaging this country.

    Recruit the best for the job, the experienced the hard working and the person who lives to serve, not just take. This won’t be the end, there are more to come and Cayman needs to recognise that ‘Cayman First’ should mean the countrys best interests, not selfishness, self entitlement and 3rd world attitudes to professionalism.




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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not great, but keep in mind, these are big structures employing 1000s of predominantly law-abiding and well-meaning folks – a few bad eggs would not be statistically abnormal from any similar sample pop or reciprocal agencies in any expat country. Even in the digital age, the Canadian Revenue Agency spends >$2mln a year in errant paychecks sent to employees that no longer work for them (in some cases, for years), and they let them keep the money! Similar bureaucratic mismanagement in the USA and UK too that is just written-off as spillage.




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      • jotnar says:

        Yeah, but contrast the treatment of expat civil servants like the teacher and the prison officer whose dismissal from the civil service (or non renewal of contract) predated their acquittal, with the Caymanians who don’t get dismissed until conviction. Its not just unfair, its a massive waste of taxpayer money.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Last I heard the Cayman Islands Fire Service is under the full command of a Brit.

      The C. I. Civil Service is no doubt seriously lacking in many areas but it’s not just unique to the Cayman Islands, the same shit happens all over the world, even in first world countries.

      Now just imagine if Tony Blair, George Bush, Putin, Dick Cheney or Donald Trump was running things !!

      We are so lucky that everyone in the world wants to come and live here, but yet we complain that we are living in shit hole everyday.

      Why do you think Immigration made $80 Million CI Dollars last year ?




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  12. Anonymous says:

    The Fire Service and Customs Department,joining forces with Immigration to eliminate unemployment in the Cayman Islands.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Government is run like a comedy club. On full pay for years is a joke. The head of the service has no idea what is going on. How can someone be in that position for a long time and according to what I have read, is still looking at how it is possible to remove someone from service. We deserve better.




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    • Olin says:

      6:13. I guess you haven’t been reading about the civil servants being fired.

      I think the deputy governor is doing a fantastic job. Finally we are seeing civil servants being held to account.




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      • Anonymous says:

        What the hell is wrong with you? DG, doing a great job yeah, paying criminals, while school children go hungry. Great job, my ass.




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        • Anonymous says:

          That’s right. Excellent post.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Parents are responsible to feed and take care of their children. If they are not capable of taking care of them, they shouldn’t have them. Stop expecting to be spoon feed.




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          • Anonymous says:

            You must be living in a vacuum. The children are human beings, and they are going to school hungry. Many things can happen to a person that will turn the tide financially, and affecting their children. You need to go to hell about “if they can’t feed them, don’t have them”. Just what kind of heartless person are you?




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            • Anonymous says:

              And how many of the parents of these hungry kids can be seen with new clothes, new phones, fancy cars? Sacrifice your extras for the well being of your children NOT the other way around. I know it’s not the case with all as some are really in need but the number of kids being fed by the different charity groups is not representative of those who actually need assistance, it’s a product of greedy people seeing that other families get assistance and they don’t want to miss out on the freebies.




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  14. Cyril says:

    Never before I have seen so many of our Caymanian civil servants being charged with criminal offences. Why are these cases just coming to light. Why are our Caymanians being dragged into criminal conduct?

    We asked the deputy governor to clean out the bad apples. But I never believed it was this many.

    Let these arrests of customs fire and immigration officers serve as a wake up call to Caymanians. If you commit crimes you are going to get caught.

    Thank you deputy governor and civil service for your zero approach to criminal behavior. Finally we are seeing the action we called for.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    Franz Manderson has internal investigations going on within the civil service which have not been dealt with in 3 years and counting. He is allowing the chief officers and the heads of department to just sit back and do nothing in complete non compliance with the public service management law. He has been written to time and time again asking for resolutions and to hold these chief officers and heads of department accountable but he just sends the matter back to the chief officer and nothing happens. He needs to stop criticizing the court system when his own damn closet needs cleaning out.




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    • Roy says:

      10:55. I guess he sends the matter to the chief officer because it’s their job to deal with it.

      Face up to facts. Start performing.




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Might I suggest a solution to Mr Manderson – employ more expatriates.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You funny




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    • Anonymous says:

      Simply being Caymanian is not a qualification. I am married to a Caymanian, born in another land, applied to numerous government and private sector jobs and have never gotten even a phone call for an interview. Not Caymanian, we dont want you, don’t need a work permit, we can’t control you. How should I support my family?




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      • Anonymous says:

        You can support your family the same way expats say Caymanians should…. If you are qualified for a banking job but cant find the bank to hire you, then go pump gas!




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