The final remaining member of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service command staff suspended in March 2008 over allegations of misconduct in a public office has departed the law enforcement agency.
RCIPS Chief Superintendent John Jones’ contract came to an end in late May 2012 and was not renewed, according to police officials. Mr. Jones has returned to his native England.
He could not be reached for comment and RCIPS offered no other statements about the senior officer’s departure. Superintendent Kurt Walton is acting in the role of chief super, but no full-time replacement has been appointed.
Along with former RCIPS Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and former Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon, Mr. Jones was placed on required leave following the announcement of an investigation into various alleged misconduct within the police service. Mr. Kernohan was dismissed from his post later in 2008 after refusing to return to the Islands on orders of the then-governor. Mr. Dixon retired from the police service after he was cleared of criminal allegations in connection with the case and awarded what was reported as a six-figure settlement by government.
Mr. Jones, who remained on paid leave between March 2008 and August 2009, eventually came back to work with the RCIPS as of 31 August, 2009.
“Chief Superintendent Jones has at all times conducted himself responsibly and professionally since being placed on required leave on 27 March, 2008. He remains a valuable RCIPS member and I am delighted that he will be back on duty next week,” Commissioner David Baines said at the time. “I have discussed the situation regarding Mr. Jones with HE the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack CVO who agrees and whole-heartedly supports an immediate return to work.”
The former chief superintendent was never arrested or charged and was publicly notified on 1 May, 2009, by former Acting Commissioner of Police James Smith that no criminal charges would be laid and all inquiries were concluded.
A review was conducted to determine whether or not disciplinary action was warranted against Mr. Jones. After considering the officer’s alleged administrative failings, Commissioner Baines concluded that a disciplinary hearing would be disproportionate in light of the alleged breach of conduct.
Mr. Jones was one of the few remaining individuals in the RCIPS or the local government who had a direct connection to the two-year, $10 million police misconduct probe. In addition to Messrs. Kernohan and Dixon, former Cayman Islands Governor Stuart Jack left the Islands at the end of 2009. Former Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, who was part of the strategic oversight committee for the Operation Tempura investigation, retired earlier this year.
RCIPS Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis, who became embroiled in the initial police misconduct investigation that led to Operation Tempura, is still with the department. He was never directly implicated in the portion of the misconduct probe that became known as ‘Tempura’ and all allegations against him were quickly dismissed by investigating officers from the United Kingdom.
Lawsuits filed against the government by Mr. Kernohan and former RCIPS Inspector Burmon Scott have not yet been disposed of. Mr. Kernohan’s matter is scheduled to come before the Cayman Islands Grand Court toward the end of this year.