Port manager cleared of sexual misconduct

| 17/07/2018 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service

Port Authority of the Cayman Islands

(CNS): A senior manager at the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands (PACI) who is accused of multiple incidences of sexual harassment spanning several years and involving at least nine women has been cleared by an internal investigation. Falling short of accusing the women who complained of making malicious allegations, a report by the Internal Audit Service (IAS) described the complaints as “suspect”. Despite not believing the nine women who work at PACI, the internal inquiry did find an unhealthy work environment due to the behaviour of the senior manager, who is still on the job.

The complaint was made in May and signed by the nine women. In response, the authority’s board and tourism ministry asked the government’s Internal Audit Service to investigate the alleged sexual misconduct by the senior manager, who remained on the job throughout the inquiry. In a very short report published last month and released this week, the IAS concluded that the complaints lacked “merit” and were found to be “unsubstantiated”.

Without outlining exactly why the complaints from the women, describing 21 incidences, were unfounded, the report stated that the “manner in which the complaint originated and the intent of the complaint is suspect”.

The report pointed to a freedom of information request asking about any incidences of sexual harassment at the port the day before the complaint. It is not clear, however, why the FOI application would have any bearing on whether or not the women were being truthful about their experiences regarding the senior manager.

Although the internal report dismissed the sexual harassment allegations, the investigation found another “subset of legitimate behavioural issues which need to be addressed”. Again, there was no explanation about what that meant but the report’s author, Andy Bonner, said it did not constitute sexual harassment, even though it was “not suitable to the work place”.

Bonner wrote, “The senior member of staff was not made aware that these residual behavioural issues were having a negative impact. If left unaddressed these behaviours could continue and staff will continue to feel uncomfortable in the workplace.”

Finding that management was unaware of how to deal with the sexual harassment complaint, the report said that confusion exists at the port over which policy framework is applicable in these situations.

“Staff lacks the necessary trust and confidence in management that they will adequately address sensitive issues in an effective and timely manner. As a result staff are not raising issues, which has the potential of permitting inappropriate behaviour to continue. This apparent lack of trust and inaction leads to an environment which is not conducive to a healthy work place in which problems accumulate and staff becomes demoralised,” the report stated.

The inquiry also found a lack of employee awareness on how to communicate issues of a sensitive and personal nature, which, coupled with the management’s failure to address the complaints, have contributed to an unhealthy work environment. As a result, a number of recommendations were made, including awareness training for all port staff on work place conduct and that the authority should update its policies and procedures on reporting grievances and general workplace conduct.

The original complaint has not been defined by either the port authority of the tourism ministry. However, other sources have told CNS that the allegations were not new and that women had been subjected to harassment, including sexual comments, gestures and conduct from the senior manager going back as far as 2005.

This latest allegation comes in the wake of a major scandal surrounding unapproved spending, among other issues, by the director, who remains on required leave as another investigation rolls on. Clement Reid managed to hang onto the job for several months after damning findings by the auditor general, but once the issues were exposed, public pressure about the misconduct led to Reid’s suspension and another internal inquiry.

Reid was not the subject of the sexual harassment allegations.

He is not the only senior civil servant facing a misconduct inquiry. The director of the NRA, Paul Parchment was placed on required leave a few months ago following allegations that he was misusing the authority’s resources. And the entire hospital security team had been suspended in the wake of a probe there revealing questions about overtime. Since then, two supervisors have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission in connection with that inquiry, though no one has yet been charged.

Roydell Carter, the director of the Department of Environmental Health, has been away from his desk for around nine months for mysterious reasons. Officials continued to deny that he has been officially suspended, though CNS understands that he and government remain engaged in some form of talks about his future with the service.

In other departments, including immigration and customs, several senior and less senior officers and civil servants remain suspended from their jobs as a result of criminal investigations, largely related to drug trafficking.

See the report in the CNS Library

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Category: Government oversight, Local News, Politics

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “It is not clear, however, why the FOI application would have any bearing on whether or not the women were being truthful about their experiences regarding the senior manager.”

    Yea, this is the thing that confuses me as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The reason why he is cleared is quite obvious to everyone in the room.

    Sandra Hill and her Cayman Marl Road wanting to be the first out the gate as always tainted the investigation.

    By her meddling and posting against him and pushing the issue before any action was taken it made the credibility of the accusation worthless.

    As a woman I am approached daily by men and the men here in Cayman are very well versed in how to cover their tracks. No way in hell am I going to her to assist me with getting the story out. The moment they did that it ruined their credibility.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She does that with every case she can get her grimy claws on
      It will bite her in the ass one day

      She tried the radio (multiple times) and failed
      She ran for public office (multiple times) and failed
      and now she has decided to put her Sandra Hill spin on the News (or not the news as she claims when she gets in trouble) people will get tired of the Cayman’s Gossip road eventually
      As more and more people are named, she will start pissing off more and more families and groups

      She won’t be running that for long

      She’s somehow maneuvered into being more hated than politicians and somehow thinks shes on the right path

  3. Anonymous says:

    Now that we know that whatever he did is ok, can we at least know what it was so that we too are able to have some fun?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Why was this investigated by IAS and not RCIPS? Once you step over the line into what is potentially a crime the law says the police have to be involved so how did IAS keep them out of it?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, having read that report cover to cover (in 35 seconds) I for one am absolutely confident the matter was thoroughly investigated and that that appropriate tests were applied and findings made on all the evidence.

    What a joke.

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  6. Anon says:

    Hmmmm…if you say so…

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The outcome of this “internal investigation” disgusts me. Nine women come forward that work under this man’s management for his inappropriate behavior and this is the way you let them down not to mention the other staff whom the report did state “lacks the necessary trust and confidence in management”?! Obviously there is something serious going on at PACI for the staff to feel that way and if they really cared about the staff they would make it a damn PRIORITY to find out! XXXXX

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a great case study of everything that is wrong with the Cayman Islands. Apparently nine women, over several years, conspired to make spurious allegations against this man. Or, the government has simply protected members of the old boys club. I wonder which is it?

    Shameful!!!!

    Sometimes you wonder if these people have mothers and daughters!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    There is always the court….civil proceedings….????

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  10. Vlad Tepes says:

    Sand, meet ostrich head.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Being vendictive never works ….these allegations were made for the wrong reasons.

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    • Anonymous says:

      10:22 pm: “allegations made for the wrong reasons”—says who? Instinctively I sense something not quite right in this statement. Sounds more like what cones off the Marl Road.

      You are imputing motives and you better be sure you have solid evidence for that.

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  12. Elvis says:

    Hehe cangaroo court springs to mind, poor women, another cover up one thinks

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  13. Diogenes says:

    This must be the feminized legal system that breeds broken men and homes at work
    or whatever other bullshit that guy was writing last week
    Should the government not have jumped on this opportunity to show this man that women are the real power around here?
    You are conveniently silent now friends:

    I could never forget about this gem so quickly
    “16. Adoption of western feminist mentality in the Judicial System.”

    The the cogs of western feminist authoritarianism seem to be hard at work in Cayman
    How will we men survive this hostile environment??????

    Diogenes

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    • Anonymous says:

      there are some vocal Men’s Rights Activists in the jurisdiction. Perhaps you should request that the local radio stations host a debate on gender issues and you can join in?

      • Diogenes says:

        I’m not the one who’s claiming anything in relation to the original comment
        I am simply asking them (the people who were commenting along those lines last week)
        To explain how the “feminized judicial system” that destroys the lives of men let this one slip through the cracks

        Cause according to them, men are the victims of “Western feminized ideals of our culture

        Diogenes

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      • Anonymous says:

        You mean the all male radio shows? At least Hurley’s has some females, Dms seemed to drive away all theirs.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Have the nine women cleared him, or just Andy Bonner at IAS? His conclusion, that unchecked misogyny breeds complicity, is in itself suspect. Classic victim-blaming.

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    • West Bay Premier says:

      It’s amazing how much Cayman laws and corruption has changed over the years . I remember when a woman’s word outweighed the word of a man in the Court .
      If the allegations is untrue, why would 9 women want to harm him ? Lucky the IAS didn’t say thay he is not male man , and there’s no reason why he would want to have anything to do with a woman . I believe that the speaker spoke to him a lot harsher than what O Bodden spoke to Jennifer A . Driftwood still washing up on the beaches.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    how does the foi request undermine or cause the complaint to be “suspect” ?

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  16. Observer says:

    The fact that the reports of these nine women involving 21 incidents were deemed “unfounded” could possibly explain why “Staff lack the necessary trust and confidence in management that they will adequately address sensitive issues in an effective and timely manner.”

    It seems to me that “sexual comments, gestures and conduct from the senior manager going back as far as 2005” should constitute harassment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And he didn’t realize it negatively impacted the staff… “was not made aware that these residual behavioural issues were having a negative impact” What is he, a 10yr old? Why did he need to be made aware? Not trying to be funny, but maybe he has some form of Autism? Those with Autism (different levels) do not really know how to interact with people in social situations.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There’s nothing funny about Autism. It is very stressful for people with Autism trying to remember all of the rules on how to interact with people.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Ok so he doesn’t have autism, he’s just plain stupid. Ok got it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          What crime has to be committed before it can be called sexual harassment? We need to change this. It’s really amazing 9 women coming forward could be wrong. I am not one of the nine woman, but I can assure you his behavior towards women is very slippery. Really what crime has to be committed before ones behavior can be proven as sexual harassment. I believe these women because I experienced his behavior. He should had been named and shame long time. I bet my bottom dollar he will respect women now when he see them.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I bet he won’t, people like that don’t change. Especially when they get away with it.

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          • Observer says:

            Do you think a senior manager is going to promote or otherwise facilitate advancement at the workplace of junior staff who may rebuff or object to sexual jokes, innuendos, comments, gestures or other conduct? Not likely.

            The inequality in power in these situations that creates risks if one rejects, explicitly or otherwise, is what makes it sexual harrassment. It does not have to the more overt proposal of an exchange of sexual favor for advancent or other workplace benefit.

            I am wondering if sexual harrassment was being narrowly defined by Andy Bonner — that he was looking for the stated and overlooking the tacit/implied?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s pretty convenient when the problem and the cause are all laid out in the same report.

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