Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks clarified that he, and not former Chief Secretary George McCarthy, placed senior civil servant Deborah Drummond on leave.
Mr. Ebanks, speaking during a one-day sitting of the Legislative Assembly last week, sought to clarify comments he had made during a Finance Committee meeting on 20 June on the status of Ms Drummond and two other senior civil servants, Diane Montoya and Angela Martins, who had been removed from their positions following the May 2009 election.
Ms Drummond, the former deputy financial secretary, and Ms Montoya, the former health ministry chief officer, are both still on full-pay leave and Ms Martins, the former ministry of education chief officer, has taken early retirement.
At the Finance Committee meeting in June, in response to a question about who had placed Ms Drummond and Ms Montoya on leave and why, Mr Ebanks had responded, without specifying which woman he was referring to, that one was on required leave and one on a “less formal leave”.
The two civil servants draw salaries in the range of $120,000-$130,000 per year, Mr. Ebanks had earlier said.
He told legislators at the time that “the persons who were placed on required leave were placed on required leave by the former Chief Secretary”.
“While I am satisfied that it was not stated, nor was it reported, that the former chief secretary had placed Ms Deborah Drummond on required leave, I accept it was not made clear that he had not done so,” Mr. Ebanks said during the meeting of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, 3 August.
“I therefore crave your indulgence to simply clarify that Ms Deborah Drummond was not placed on required leave by the former Chief Secretary Mr. George McCarthy,” the deputy premier said.
Pressed by Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin on who had placed Ms Drummond on required leave, Mr. Ebanks said Ms Drummond had never been on required leave, but that she was the person on the “less formal leave”.
“It was approved by me in consultation with the financial secretary and the chief officer of the portfolio and the ministry of finance,” Mr. Ebanks said.
He did not address who had placed the other two civil servants on leave.
At the Finance Committee meeting, Mr. Ebanks had told legislators that the former chief secretary “felt that, based on information that he had, that their presence within the organisation was not desired”.
The deputy governor said last week that the situation had not changed since he had made his comments in the Finance Committee, meaning Ms Drummond and Ms Montoya were still on leave.
He said he hoped the issue would be resolved in the near future.
None of the three woman has been accused of wrongdoing.