Osbourne Bodden shifted out of Ministry of Health and Culture

Jennifer Ahearn remains ministry’s chief officer

Osbourne Bodden has been removed from his position as Minister of Health and Culture, but retained as Minister responsible for Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, the Cayman Islands government announced Friday.

Premier Alden McLaughlin will assume the role of Minister of Health and Culture with Jennifer Ahearn as his chief officer.

The switch follows revelations this week that Mr. Bodden had engaged in what was described as a screaming and profanity-laced encounter with Ms. Ahearn, the Ministry of Health’s chief officer, on Dec. 10.

Dozens of civil servants clearly heard Mr. Bodden shouting at Ms. Ahearn statements including, “You aren’t even Caymanian, you are like a piece of f&%king driftwood,” and “You know that I can make your life a living hell,” in a tirade that resulted in a security guard being called to the scene.

There had been growing pressure on Mr. Bodden to step down in the wake of the incident. In a statement released through his press secretary Tammie Chisholm at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, which made no specific reference to the incident, Premier Alden McLaughlin announced a Cabinet reshuffle for the new year.

The statement reads:

“As of Jan. 1, 2015, Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin will assume the role of Minister of Health and Culture. His Chief Officer will be Ms Jennifer Ahearn.

“Minister Osbourne Bodden will assume the duties of Minister responsible for Community Affairs with Ms Dorine Whittaker remaining as Chief Officer of that Ministry.

“Councillor Mr. Roy McTaggart will be attached to the Ministry of Health and Culture while remaining Councillor for Financial Services. The Premier will remain as Minister of Home Affairs. Minister Bodden will now be in charge of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports.

“The Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service will facilitate the administrative re-arrangements resulting from these decisions.”

Previously Mr. McLaughlin had described the incident as a “personnel misunderstanding” and said it would be neither “helpful or appropriate” to discuss it in the press.

He added, “Sometimes, when you have strong personalities who are passionate about their work, differences in opinion will occur. There was such a variance of opinion between Minister Bodden and his chief officer, for which the minister has already apologized in writing to his chief officer and the ministry staff.”

1 COMMENT

  1. He should step down from all of his Ministerial duties, voluntarily or not. Mr. Bodden obviously has a problem controlling his temper and staff members in the other departments which fall under his responsibility must also be anxiously awaiting the day his temper flares again. I am not attacking Mr. Bodden on a personal level. Quite the contrary. I am addressing this matter strictly from a professional (I use the term very lightly) point of view.

  2. This is a total disgrace to this country. I would not be able to lift my eyes for shame, let alone face the youth or anyone for quite a long time.

  3. I have a whole mouth full to say, but this is what I am going to say at the moment. The voters of Cayman population need to understand that when they voted last election they knew exactly what they were doing, they voted with a vengeance only to remove McKeva Bush from office alone, They did that. Now everyone is hollering about what they did and should not have done. TOUGH LUCK, I say, drink from the cup you choose.
    Now my further comments are; that since Ozzie, have been relieved of his responsibilities as Minister responsible for Health service, and is now been given the time to fully deal with Community affairs, youth and sports, I should expect he will, and the three other representatives elected can eventually find the time to focus on the Bodden Town district you represent. Why are you all hiding from your people? I think it is time that you get in touch. Nothing has been achieved in two years. It is not like there is only one or even two of you; there is FOUR, all from the same party. Ozzie Bodden, Al Suckoo, Wayne Panton, and Anthony Eden. As a resident of this district, and a very good political watch dog, I believe the people would like to hear something from someone. Telling us that we do not have to wait until 2015 or 2016 on the eve of 2017 election that life will be made more comfortable for residents in this district. We want the encouragement of having these offices in this district. A class A bank, CUC, Cable wireless, Water Co. Small businesses of food etc. In the same breath, will one of the four answer WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE PROPERTY OF THE OLD CLINIC. and also WHAT IS HAPPENING AT COE WOOD BEACH PROJECT. Why are people in the district living without lights because they do not have a job. We are tired of promises and excuses, and come 2017 you all will feel the pinch on voting day.

  4. This was strictly a self preservation move by Alden he know’s that he owes Ozzie for his support and winning the election although it came at the price of allowing him to control the outcome of the dump and keep it out of Bodden Town.

    I am curious what this will mean for the dump, will this be used a justification for long delays. However if the new waste management facility ends up being built in Bodden Town because all other plans fall through it will save face for Ossie

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