More than $300,000 has been paid in salary and pension benefits over the past three years to a veteran Royal Cayman Islands Police Service commander who was suspended from duty during the ill-fated Operation Tempura corruption investigation, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
According to records provided under the Freedom of Information Law, between March 2008 and February 2011, Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon received at least $271,020 in salary and may have received as much as $338,496.
The police service did not provide the exact amount paid to Mr. Dixon in salary and the Caymanian Compass is seeking further clarification on the exact amount paid to Mr. Dixon during the period.
In addition, Mr. Dixon would have received between $32,500 and $41,000 in payments to his employee pension account during the three-year period.
He also would have received a one-time payment for a cost of living increase that was given to all civil servants in 2008; that amount was also unspecified.
Based on government salary ranges, Mr. Dixon would have been paid between $7,528.33 per month and $9,402.66 per month from 27 March, 2008 – the date of his being placed on leave.
Deputy RCIPS Commissioner Rudolph Dixon was “temporarily removed” from office along with two other senior commanders caught up in the Tempura probe.
One of the other two commanders, former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan, was eventually fired from his job when he refused to return to the Islands at the governor’s request. He has since sued the Cayman Islands government for wrongful termination.
The other man, Chief Superintendent John Jones, was exonerated and reinstated. Neither Mr. Jones nor Mr. Kernohan was ever arrested or charged in connection with alleged criminal activity during the Operation Tempura investigation.
Mr. Dixon’s was cleared of charges related to official misconduct and intending to pervert the course of public justice in October 2009. Mr. Dixon was accused in separate instances from 2003 and 2004 of ordering the release of criminal suspects without justification.
Following that acquittal, RCIPS Commissioner David Baines said Mr. Dixon would remain on paid leave pending the completion of police disciplinary enquiries.
A year and a half later, it appears the suspended deputy commissioner’s fate is still uncertain. RCIPS officials have since directed all queries regarding Mr. Dixon’s continued employment in the police service to Governor Duncan Taylor’s office.
Mr. Taylor arrived here in January 2010, some months after the Operation Tempura probe had ended.
The head of the governor’s office, Steve Moore, said Tuesday that talks between Mr. Dixon and the police were continuing but that as far as he was aware, the deputy commissioner’s paid leave status had not changed.
Governor dumps Tempura complaint
In a matter unrelated to Mr. Dixon’s situation, a complaint filed last year over the Operation Tempura police corruption investigation has been completely dismissed by Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor.
The complaint was initially filed by the investigation’s former legal adviser Martin Polaine and was later signed onto by its former Senior Investigating Officer Martin Bridger.
Mr. Polaine dropped the complaint in late 2010. Mr. Bridger continued with it. According to Mr. Polaine, the matter involved accusations of improper behaviour on behalf of individuals within Cayman’s criminal justice system, including the judiciary and the attorney general’s office.
Governor Taylor’s statement issued Tuesday read as follows:
“I issued a statement on 21 January, 2011, in relation to a complaint by Mr. Martin Bridger about certain aspects of the Operation Tempura investigation in the Cayman Islands. I have now concluded my consideration of that complaint and the legal advice I have received in relation to it. I have dismissed all aspects of the complaint.
“I have provided detailed written reasons for my decision to the complainant, Mr. Bridger. Because of the sensitivity of some of the material in the written reasons I do not propose to make these public; in the circumstances, at my request, Mr. Bridger has signed a confidentiality agreement in which he undertakes not to share the reasons with any other person except his legal representative.”