A police inspector has filed a complaint with Governor Duncan Taylor’s office against Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Commissioner David Baines and Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Brougham.
The RCIPS Inspector, Richard Harford, confirmed to the Caymanian Compass last week that he had submitted the complaint to the governor’s office on 10 April. He declined to discuss the specific nature of the allegations, stating he did not want to prejudice any investigation.
Mr. Harford’s attorney, Philip Ebanks, also declined to comment on Wednesday.
It is understood the complaint makes reference to section 17 of the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law. Section 17(1) states: “A public officer or member of the Legislative Assembly who does or directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another commits an offence …”
“The governor has indeed received a letter from Mr. Harford and is considering it,” said Steve Moore, head of the governor’s office. No further comment was received from either the governor’s office or police.
Mr. Harford said he initially sought to file the complaint with the Anti-Corruption Commission. However, Commissioner Baines chairs the five-person commission and Mr. Harford said he received advice that it would be unlikely the Anti-Corruption Commission could even hear the complaint, even if it were the proper place to file the claim.
The governor’s office did not provide any clarity on who might hear the complaint by press time.
Commissioner Baines, Mr. Brougham and Inspector Harford have an ugly recent history. Mr. Harford was busted back to the rank of police constable last year following a disciplinary hearing against him.
According to court records, Mr. Harford was accused of violating two sections of the police regulations regarding conduct for officers in relation to an incident where a police service special constable was prevented from leaving the Cayman Islands.
According to the police Professional Standards Unit disciplinary charge: “[Mr. Harford] caused a stop notice to be placed on the immigration file of Mr. Altemond Rowe, a member of the special constabulary, at the Owen Roberts International Airport without there being a criminal investigation being carried out against the said Mr. Rowe.” In addition, Mr. Harford allegedly represented that a police sergeant was investigating an offence committed by Mr. Rowe “knowing that such representation [was] false”.
According to court records, Mr. Harford denied both the charges, but was demoted as a result of the disciplinary action taken against him by the department. In seeking a judicial review of the matter, Mr. Harford claimed that there was either no evidence or insufficient evidence to support the demotion ordered by RCIPS Deputy Commissioner Steve Brougham. He also said that Mr. Baines’ decision to uphold Mr. Brougham’s ruling was made “outside the law”.
Philip Ebanks, who represented Inspector Harford in a judicial review proceeding filed last year over his demotion, said that his client and the department came to an agreed settlement of the case just before the judicial review proceeding was set to begin on 26 March.
Mr. Ebanks said Mr. Harford was fully reinstated. The police service did not comment on the matter.
“It was an order arrived at by mutual consent of the parties,” Mr. Ebanks said. “He will receive all his pension benefits and back pay … the motion took place as if all this had never happened.”