McLaughlin appalled at Bush’s ‘disrespect’

More than a week after the Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush announced a new chief for the island’s Monetary Authority, its former chairman had still not been notified that he was out of a job.

Carlyle McLaughlin said that ‘such blatant disrespect is appalling after the many years of service I have provided to my country’, as he announced his retirement from public life, insisting he would not take up any other position offered by any government.

He also criticised the appointment of his replacement, George McCarthy, the former Chief Secretary, as a political move, one which he said showed that the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority was no longer an independent body.

Mr. Bush announced in the Legislative Assembly on 29 June that Mr. McCarthy would take up the chairmanship of the Monetary Authority upon his retirement from the Civil Service.

‘It can no longer be said that there is an expectation that CIMA should act as much as possible as an independent body from central government and that its appointments should not be seen as political,’ Mr. McLaughlin said.

Mr. McLaughlin had been appointed to a three-year term as chairman of the board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority in July last year, replacing Tim Ridley.

It is not the first time Mr. McCarthy has held the position of chairman of CIMA, he previously served in that capacity when he was Financial Secretary. Mr. McLaughlin said times had changed since then. ‘The last four or five chairmen have been private individuals … to avoid controversy by ensuring that CIMA would appear to act in an objective manner without undue political influence when regulating any of its licensees.’

Mr. McLaughlin contrasted his ignominious departure with that of Mr. Ridley’s, saying his predecessor had reached the end of his three-year term and was not re-appointed. ‘At least he was informed prior to the announcement being made and did not have to suffer the embarrassment of first learning of the matter when a newspaper reporter called to get his reaction to the matter, as was my case,’ Mr. McLaughlin said.

‘I was not even afforded the decency, even after some 20 plus years of service in a number of appointed offices with various governments,’ he added.

To add insult to injury, he had represented CIMA at an overseas conference the week before Mr. Bush announced that he was being ousted and on the day of the announcement, had been attending a committee meeting of the authority.

‘So I was faithfully fulfilling my duties while my ‘removal’ must have been deliberated,’ he said.

Mr. McLaughlin, in a lengthy letter to the editor, surmised that many in the financial industry were upset with Mr. Ridley’s non-renewal as chairman and ‘used the circumstances to make my appointment appear to be only politically motivated as they did not feel I had the same talents as he did.’

He denied that his appointment as chairman last year had anything to do with the fact that he is related to the former minister Alden McLaughlin, saying ‘I have been distanced from my father and his side of the family, which includes Mr. Alden McLaughlin, for some 20 plus years.’

He said he did not consider his own appointment to be a political one, despite rumblings of this in the financial sector, because he felt he was ‘nominated as chairman because of the skill set I brought to the equation as evidenced y my previous three years on the board as a director.

He said he did not have mobile phone numbers for the former Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts nor Alden McLaughlin, but he did have Mr. Bush’s cell number and, ironically, had sent him a text message on 9 June to wish him luck signing tax information exchange agreements in Europe.

‘It makes me sad as it is now evident to me that my service is no longer required by my country. The lack of any significant support for my position… shows me that,’ said Mr. McLaughlin, who announced that he was retiring from holding any further positions nominated by any government.

He said he intended to spend more time with his church and family, including his 76-year-old mother and 90-year-old stepfather.

Mr. Bush did not respond to requests for comments by press time.

A full copy of Mr. McLaughlin’s letter can be read on caycompass.com

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