The controversy surrounding absent Cayman Islands Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan reached a fever pitch this week as the veteran UK cop was put under disciplinary review, and an additional review was begun by the auditor general into the purchase of a police helicopter which Mr. Kernohan had long advocated.
On Thursday, the embattled commissioner shot back in a two page statement, claiming he has been in regular contact with the governor’s office and denying claims that he is on ‘compassionate leave’ from his job.
‘The Governor is factually incorrect as to the basis of my ongoing leave,’ Mr. Kernohan’s statement read. ‘I am on leave as required by the Public Service Management Law. In fact, the Governor of the Cayman Islands has no power in law to direct or control where I reside during the course of my period of required leave.’
‘It is disappointing that the Governor should seek to air matters regarding the terms of my employment in a public forum such as the mass media, including the threat of disciplinary proceedings.’
The Commissioner was already under a criminal investigation by officers from the UK Metropolitan Police related to alleged misconduct in a public office. He was placed on required leave, along with two other high-ranking RCIPS commanders, on 27 March to ‘facilitate’ that investigation.
He left Cayman about a month later to be with his dying father in the UK. That leave was extended following his father’s passing, according to Governor Stuart Jack.
Governor Jack said the UK Met investigation would continue despite what he said was Mr. Kernohan’s failure to respond to three separate requests to return to Cayman in July and August. It was not known at press time when anyone from the governor’s office, or the UK investigative team, had last spoken with the commissioner.
However, the commissioner stated he has always made himself available to the UK team when required.
‘In fact, I have taken the initiative on several occasions to assure Mr. Bridger that I would welcome an interview with him at the earliest convenience,’ Mr. Kernohan’s statement read. ‘Those correspondences have been largely ignored.’
Read more in Friday’s Caymanian Compass……