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USA | Sep 22, 2022

IDB boss not quite out of the woods yet with impropriety investigation

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today


Nevertheless, Claver-Carone still meets with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President, Mauricio Claver-Carone, speaking with local media about the team’s high-level mission to Jamaica in December 2021. (Photo: JIS)

Under-fire president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Mauricio Claver-Carone is fighting off moves by the multi-lateral agency to remove him for being embroiled in an undisclosed relationship with a co-worker.

According to international news agency Reuters, the IDB’s board of directors is reaching an “emerging consensus” that its president should be removed following an ethics investigation.

It goes on to report that Davis Polk, the legal firm brought in to investigate the alleged impropriety, found evidence that Claver-Carone did engage in an intimate relationship with a female co-worker at the IDB.

The 14-member board of the IDB met on Wednesday (September 21) to determine Claver-Carone’s fate with a decision expected any day soon.

But the IDB president, who hails from Cuba, has denied all accusations levelled at him and put out a statement this week which says he has been exonerated. He also called into question the IDB’s investigative process.

His statement read in part: “I would welcome the opportunity to officially respond to the investigation’s findings in accordance with Bank rules and international standards, to finally be able to discuss the matter with the Board of Governors to demonstrate why the allegations are false, and so that together we can work on recommendations to strengthen transparency and bank processes.

“It is the first time in the history of any multilateral development bank that a process like this takes place, where an elected leader has been subject to an arbitrary investigation without any formal complaint within the administrative rules of the organisation and launched on the basis of anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations.

Inter-American Development Bank headquarters at Washington, D.C.

“It is unprecedented. Despite the absence of due process, I fully cooperated without relinquishing my constitutional rights. The handling of the investigation has repeatedly violated the Ethics Rules of the Bank, basic norms, and raised seriously questionable practices, including manipulating, distorting, and knowingly using information proven to be unreliable to predetermine an outcome instead of presenting a fair and unbiased review.

“Transparency, accountability, and due process are key components of trust, which is of the utmost importance today to the IDB’s work as a development institution. I believe that complaints, even if anonymous, should be taken seriously and handled with care, and firmly uphold that the IDB should be a rules-based institution, as established by charter, and not a political organisation that is driven by ideological or partisan interests.”

In other words, Claver-Carone is saying that the IDB’s findings did not substantiate the false and anonymous allegations that led to the investigation which began in April of this year.

But Reuters is citing sources that say Claver-Carone should go and that he has not cooperated with the IDB’s efforts to look into the matter.

A source speaking to Reuters said: “ There is emerging consensus at the IDB that this is too much, and action needs to be taken. He needs to be removed.”

In Jamaica, Therese Turner-Jones was summarily dismissed from her position as Caribbean Head of the IDB with no explanation proffered.

ex-IDB Caribbean Country Manager, Therese Turner-Jones, emphasising a point while speaking at the August 2019 launch of the Companies Office of Jamaica’s (COJ) newly established Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

The IDB’s report hones in on Claver-Carone’s dismissal of some IDB employees “that investigators believed were in retaliation for various personal conflicts,” and is therefore an abuse of power.

What is vitally important is that Claver-Carone’s reputation cannot be maligned and that the IDB’s findings must be unequivocal and led by evidence, not based on hearsay and rumour.

The process is still ongoing.

Despite the unsettling situation that could see him having to leave his post at the IDB, Claver-Carone is carrying on with his duties and met with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday as the head of the Jamaican government sets about securing loan and grant facilities.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness shakes hands with Mauricio Claver-Carone, president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) during a meeting at the IDB’s headquarters in Washington DC on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. (Photo: Facebook @AndrewHolnessJM)
Prime Minister Andrew Holness in conversation with Mauricio Claver-Carone, president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) during a meeting at the IDB’s headquarters in Washington DC on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. (Photo: Facebook @AndrewHolnessJM)

During the meeting, Prime Minister Holness tweeted: “Today I met with IDB President Mr Mauricio Claver-Carone to discuss opportunities for further partnership in critical areas, with national security, education, health, innovation and entrepreneurship being some of our key priority areas.

“I look forward to our continued excellent relationship with the IDB as we work together to secure Jamaica’s national development.”


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