Recently retired Clerk of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly Wendy Lauer was the subject of threats and physical intimidation during the last few years of her tenure in office, according to a statement made Wednesday by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush.
Mr. Bush made those comments during a lengthy speech praising Ms Lauer’s 28-year service in the Legislative Assembly office.
‘She had been pushed around, even pushed down in this assembly,’ Mr Bush told members Wednesday afternoon. ‘And nothing was done about it.’
The Caymanian Compass has learned there was an incident in Ms Lauer’s office that occurred more than two years ago involving her being pushed by another staffer in the LA clerk’s office, of which she was head.
The newspaper contacted Ms Lauer about the incident, but she declined to comment.
However, Mr. Bush intimated during his speech that it was this incident and others in the LA office that eventually led Ms Lauer to quit her job.
‘Some of this assembly staff under the last Speaker (of the House) became too unwieldy and too political,’ Mr. Bush said. ‘Ms Wendy would not get caught up in that kind of shenanigans and went home. She did what any professional would do and resigned.’
‘A stop must be put to the kind of situation that I saw with Ms Wendy.’
The clerk of the Legislative Assembly essentially fills the role as the secretary for the parliamentarians. The clerk’s office is responsible for preparing all reports and documents used by politicians and appointed LA members.
In recent years, Ms Lauer has also led efforts to put Legislative Assembly reports, hansards, bills, business papers, motions and other documents on a website for easier public access.
‘She was very proud of that website,’ Mr. Bush said.
The incident that involved Ms Lauer being ‘pushed down’ was reported to the chief secretary’s office. The Compass has asked Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks, who received the complaint as then-Deputy Chief Secretary, what occurred with the report.
‘I personally investigated the matter,’ Mr. Ebanks told the Compass. ‘There was no evidence to substantiate any physical assault and the matter was not referred to any external agency.’
A spokesperson for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said the police were not aware of any report being made about the incident.
Mr. Bush acknowledged that Ms Lauer’s departure has only made staffing troubles already plaguing the LA office worse. He said a new permanent clerk would be chosen, but he asked Ms Lauer to consider coming back to help the office.
‘I hope she would come back is she was called upon to help,’ he said, adding that the LA needed someone to help with research matters especially.