Ex-CIO settles with Cayman government

| 30/09/2017 | 66 Comments
Cayman News Service

Linda Evans, former chief immigration officer

(CNS): Almost three years after she was suspended from her job as chief immigration officer for undisclosed allegations of misconduct, Linda Evans has retired from the civil service, officials said in a press release issued late Friday afternoon. The brief government statement revealed that Evans was retiring from the service from today, Saturday 30 September. It further stated that there had been “no findings of misconduct against Ms Evans” and that she was “retiring with a good record”.

However, there was no indication why Evans, who is more than a decade short of retirement age, had been on required leave with full pay for so long without resolution or any mention of how much this has cost the public purse.

In most cases where government settles with public sector employees in such circumstances, the public is not informed of the actual costs as a result of non-disclosure clauses. This state of affairs has been the subject of acrimonious debate in the Legislative Assembly, with some members pointing out that this is public cash and the people have a right to know how it is being spent.

The opposition has also pointed to the need for more accountability and the naming of those responsible for the management of allegations of misconduct and the consequences of internal investigations.

When Evans was first suspended in December 2014, officials in the Home Affairs Ministry, where Eric Bush was chief officer at the time, said the allegations would be “investigated quickly and thoroughly”. The case nevertheless dragged on for almost three years.

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Category: Local News

Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Total disgrace and waste of the public funds. I guess the premier and manderson thinks this is a good use of our money. Shameful.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Although they may ask or demand that a civil servant be removed or fired, politicians do not hire, fire or retire civil servants. That responsibility falls to the DG.

  2. Anonymous says:

    3 years?! She probably gets to live out the rest of her days on the taxpayer dime. Would you take “retirement” if you weren’t getting enough to live on? She wasn’t with the government long so the settlement could easily have had a value in the millions.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Hush money…someone who probably knew a lot of dirty secrets….sad this backroom stuff still exists in Cayman.

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  4. West bay Premier says:

    To better comment on this rediculous waste of Taxpayers money and corruption in the Cayman Islands Government.
    I think that the government wouldn’t volunteerily give the answers to this cover-up in any FOI request . So I believe that it’s going to take the power of the people to demand the information and answers . And make them know that this kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated no longer .

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The comments on this page all seem to have one theme:what you don’t know, it’s OK to make up. Love that old saying, “evil thinkers are evildoers”.

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    • Jotnar says:

      Well if there was any transparency on the matters (which, can I point out, involves the use of taxpayers money, who have a perfectly legitimate reason to know what was spent and why), there wouldn’t be any room for suspicion. If we are using quotes then how about John 3:20

      “Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

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  6. Anonymous says:

    typical cayman wonderland stuff…leaves more questions than answers….

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  7. Anonymous says:

    if i was to get a settlement from government, i wouldnt want the public to know?! honestly, they feel it is their personal money and get agressive…some of them do….she would probably vecome a target? glad to know a caymanian probably got something y can enjoy her life before retirement age! have a great retirement linda?☺?

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  8. Ghost Leaders says:

    O, what a tangled web we weave . . .
    I find it utterly insulting that after spending about $380K of our taxpayers money over the past 2 years and 10 months, no one in the government had enough respect for us the taxpayers to put their name to this. No one.
    We know that DG Manderson has known about it from the beginning because a civil servant can only be placed on required leave with his permission. We also know that when it suits him, like last August when a senior immigration officer was arrested on some very serious charges, he not only approved that officer being put on required leave (which he should have) but he also joined the chief officer who was putting that officer on required leave in a joint statement saying so. Obviously he felt there was good PR for him in that announcement.
    We also know that on December 4th 2014, the Compass reported that Premier Alden McLaughlin told them when they spoke to him about the suspension of the then- Chief Immigration officer and another senior officer “I am satisfied that the appropriate action has been taken in each instance and expect that the investigations will be carried out thoroughly and efficiently”. I can only take that to mean that he knew what was going on and was satisfied with it.
    Now almost 3 years later, a ghost tells us that there have been “no findings of misconduct against Ms Evans” and that she was “retiring with a good record”. We know that ‘the wheels’ turn slowly in Cayman (another senior immigration officer, a male, is still before the courts for a motor vehicle accident that happened in December 2013), but how long did it take the DG’s new imagined civil service to figure out that there were “no findings of misconduct”?
    The $380K mentioned earlier is only the appetiser here. Reliable sources tell me that the Chief Immigration officer salary range is $110-130K a year. Assuming she was in the middle and making $120K a year, that’s $10K a month. They also tell me CINICO insurance is probably about $1,200 a month. 34 months at $11,200 a month is $380K. That is what our leaders who turned into ghosts have paid out.
    If she going get two-thirds of her salary as pension, that’s $6,667 a month. The government will still have to pay her insurance of $1,200 a month so that means it will be costing the government about $7,867 a month for the next 10-12 years while she should have been working based on her “good record” to get to normal retiring age. So, the main course of this little deal which the DG and Premier have cooked up is another $1M++. You read right – another $1M on top of the $380K that they have already weeweed away. If those numbers are wrong, hopefully the ghosts will tell us.
    You couldn’t make this up.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The amount of money paid by government into the Pension Fund to sustain her benefits to enable this early defined benefits retirement must be astronomical. It’s what’s called in the business a “Lem” package after the then government in the early nineties retired Lem Hurlston at about the same age as Linda or maybe even a bit younger. People were astonished when the pension fund actuaries said yes you can do this but you need to pay NOW into the Fund gazillions of dollars to cover his pension payments over the next many years which you have forced him to be a pensioner. Linda is the same.

  9. West bay Premier says:

    I hope that Cayman voters don’t FORGET this big cover-up payoff come next Election to get these ANSWERS from the Cayman Islands Law makers before they gets your vote . If they don’t , this kind of behavior would continue because they’re all responsible to give the answers .

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  10. Anonymous says:

    What a shame!!! I believe this happens all the time in Government. I believe most of them are corrupt and dare not say anything about others as they are all caught up in corruption.

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  11. MMM says:

    When Ms. Evans took over the Immigration Department she encountered was a hornet’s nest, I write these words as an insider during 2 years of Ms. Evans tenure.

    The previous leader (FM) made a big mess of it and got elevated to deputy governor, (ONLY IN CAYMAN) one is rewarded for serious shortcomings as a leader, just look at all the scandals, these go way back, this move is not a surprise as there is no accountability in Immigration, the mess the previous leaders left her lead to her ultimate demise.

    I’m happy at least she’s able to move on.

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    • Ghost Leaders says:

      Kudos to you MMM and Taxpayer for figuring this out. This was a ‘perfect storm’ situation from the start.
      I believe Taxpayer is spot on when he says that there was a politician, or politicians, that didn’t want this officer there. Now you must realise that the Chief Immigration officer doesn’t grant full 1, 2 or 3 year permits, doesn’t grant permanent residency and doesn’t grant Cayman status. There are boards that deal with all of these. What the Chief does is approve temporary work permits and acknowledge when Caymanians have what they need to prove their status. That leaves me to strongly believe that some people who have tight political connections weren’t getting their temporary work permits as they wanted them and told ‘their’ politician to sort her out. This was the main driver but it’s unlikely that it would have got her out on its own.
      MMM is on the right track too about the match that lit the fire. I agree that based on what I have heard from various sources, Franz Manderson, the former Chief left some mess at Immigration when he moved across the road. I believe some of the people making the mess were people who were deeply loyal to him, and he to them. Remember the case that was well on its way to Court when the Chief Immigration officer was put on required leave? Remember what her being suspended did to her as the main witness in that case? Exactly what it was intended to do I believe.
      While DG Franz had hired her, from what I understood, her employing Ministry now headed by Eric Bush was treating complaints on her like DoE treats a bag of dead iguanas. The DG probably felt he was home free – he could appease his political masters and take the heat off of his loyal buddies at Immigration. There was only one small problem – the bag didn’t contain any dead iguanas, or put into official ghost language “there have been no findings of misconduct against Ms. Evans”. With no dead iguanas but our money to play with, it took them 34 months and $380K to find a $1M deal to wiggle out of the mess that had been created.
      Civil servants need to take note of what could happen to them even if they have not done anything that constitutes misconduct. They need to take to heart the words of that lady who was killed in US recently: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”.

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  12. Localish says:

    Any consequences for Eric Bush former Chief Officer and DG Franz Manderson who suspended her or did Ms. Evans insider knowledge and trading of favors guarantee her silence and hefty settlement?

    This is the sort of thing that proves the corruption within the Civil Service at the highest levels. Unfortunately David Legge was right about corruption in the Caymans.

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    • Anonymous says:

      David Legge said you were corrupt. (Unless you’re not Caymanian then like him you’re OK.)

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      • Jotnar says:

        Actually, what he said was

        ” Whether it’s securing a vehicular inspection sticker, an exemption to development regulations, approval for work permits, the support of a particular bloc of voters, or, allegedly, millions of dollars in bribes in relation to sporting events – lurking behind the scenes are shadows of impropriety, influence and inscrutability. Because such behavior is so commonplace, we tend to ‘normalize it,’ refusing even to recognize it, or neglecting to see how aberrant it really is.”

        Now don’t know about you, but I don’t see a single reference to differentiating between expats and Caymanians – the term is “we”. Nor does he say everyone is corrupt, but rather we prefer to ignore it or think of it as normal. Not the same thing at all. But why let the facts interfere with your ad hominem attack. Unless of course you are saying he is wrong, and none of these things happen?

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  13. Taxpayer says:

    Rumour has it that a co-worker reported her to management for some alleged wrong doing. A certain politician and her don’t get along so said politician was anxious to find a reason to get rid of her and jumped on the allegation, publicly removing her from her job before any investigation began.

    But when internal investigation was done they found nothing to back up claim made by co-worker.

    But politician still got beef with her and don’t want her as CIO so he drags out this “investigation” so he could keep her out of office.

    Finally someone with a little common sense explain to the powers that be that because all this time has gone by and they haven’t found anything, they have nothing, but yet she has been kept out of office, she can sue the Government because the whole thing has left a cloud of suspicion over her and damaged her career prospects and reputation.

    So the government then makes her an offer because said politician does not want her back as CIO.

    Result:
    Taxpayers have to pay Ms. Evans a whole lot of money. In lieu of a public apology, they have to admit that she has done nothing wrong but this just conjured up more questions.

    Just the comments on this site are proving the point of her reputation being damaged.

    People are left wondering what she did? Did she actually do anything? If not then why is she being retired early and if she did do something why isn’t it being publicly released?

    Mr. Manderson, do you remember the fiasco with Angela Martins, Deborah Drummond and Diane Martinez?

    You said back then that would never happen on your watch again.

    What happened? Were you asleep?

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  14. Veritas says:

    If she did nothing wrong then the Deputy Governor must be held responsible for paying her for 3 years for doing nothing, and paying her off for agreeing to early retirement, on top of her pension and continuing health benefits. The Civil Service has never practiced accountability and the time to start is now. The D.G. if the Civil Service is to acquire any crediblility, which it has lacked entirely up to now, needs to explain this debacle, failing which he should be required to follow suit and retire now.

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  15. Glad this chapter has finally been put to rest .and yes the public does have the right to know how much of the public purse has been paid out but if not please tell us why? Are there still others waiting in the wings?A couple of other names are out there I do believe?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow!

    I wonder what she obviously had on them?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or what they didn’t have on her. Like the lady at the Prison (also under Eric Bush tenure) who they didn’t manage the termination properly and had to re-hire. This could be a similar case but with Director out for so long there’s no good way to bring them back in; the parachute is the only viable option for the organisation.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Franz bought her silence with public funds

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  18. Clayton Minton says:

    You just can’t trust the Caymanian government! Why is this such a big secret? Are other members of the government involved? It is interesting that she was “retiring with a good record”. So why was she dumped? Why was this dragged out for three years?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    What price silence?

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  20. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t have transparency around such events, then the same mistakes will be made again. Exposure and accountability must be enforced so those that screwed up can be fired. This has all the hallmarks of a witch hunt..

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  21. Jotnar says:

    Decade short of retirement age and no findings of misconduct – that settlement bill must be astronomical, but we will never find out what it is.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Tragedy that the people get shafted again by corruption!!

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  23. Anonymous says:

    3 years full pay for doing squat. Sign me up.

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  24. West bay Premier says:

    This is the kind of matters that Ezzard Miller should be bringing to the LA , not that petty stuff . This kind of behavior within Government is of the drop off .

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  25. UnCivil Servant says:

    She was paid to go away and keep their secrets because too many would be embarrassed and face investigation for corruption related offenses

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Just a personal thing between Evans and a politician.
    And we pay the bill

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  27. Anonymous says:

    What a way to milk the government. And what’s worse is, the decision to pay someone top salary for three years for doing absolutely nothing, came from the very top. Meanwhile, our schools have no materials.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Friday afternoon news dump… Usually the early retirements are reserved for senior management dead weight but it’s good to know the option is available for others as well

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  29. Bewildered says:

    Another botch job

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Shame, An educated and capable Caymanian woman cut down in the prime of her productive professional life. Speechless. Shame! No explanation as to why. We pay but we don’t get to hear why. Shame!

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  31. Anonymous says:

    How much more is government incompetence, stonewalling and deals in the dark going to cost us?

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  32. Waste of public purse says:

    Am I the only one feeling like I am missing something here? If ms. Evans did nothing wrong, then who did? Eric bush? Deputy Governor? Retiring with a clean record? 1 + 1 is definitely not equaling to 2. this is not good for the country or government.

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  33. BELONGER says:

    Maybe 2 – 3 years employed by Govt, followed by three years suspension on full pay, all legal fees paid, a fat juicy lump sum (under 50 Yrs of age who originally came from the private sector) non disclosure of any possible wrong doing (despite extended suspension) and then off you go into the Cayman Islands Sunset. ???

    I’ve created a new name for that….. it’s called a “Platinum Parachute”

    Now that’s a Cayman Islands Civil
    Service “removal policy” that we the tax payers can all be very proud of.

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  34. Anon says:

    Hope she got a good settlement.
    They have sullied her reputation.
    All due to jealous co-workers, bosses with egos and she wouldn’t confirm to whatever stupid ideas they came up with.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Trust me I smell a settlement! she nah that stupid to retire so early!

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  36. Anonymous says:

    A very sad situation if I was a Civil Servant I would be very concerned about this result.

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  37. Veritas says:

    Does Government take the public for fools. All this and she did nothing wrong! – only in Cayman and darkest Africa could this happen.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Similar thing happened to a friend of mine in the private sec. if a woman threatens expose unscrupulous directors, they will try to destroy you. And worse those that need to know don’t want to hear about, they don’t want to deal the problem which is Fanta to approving the wrong. Glad to know she got a settlement , but no amount of money can give you your name back.

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      • Anonymous says:

        11:50 I meant to say tantamount to approving the wrong. (Not Fanta)

      • Anonymous says:

        Only those that had this happened to them knows what it’s like. It’s awful! But some people vengeful ( a church pastor ) love to inflict hurt on others. God help us all.

  38. Anonymous says:

    A disgrace.

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