Maritime chief stays on at authority

The longtime head of the Cayman Islands Maritime Authority will remain on the job while criminal charges filed against him last month work their way through the courts system.  

Joel Walton was scheduled to appear Tuesday in Summary Court, facing charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, insulting the modesty of a woman, and causing fear or provocation of violence, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.  

The Maritime Authority’s board of directors met last Thursday to determine whether Mr. Walton would remain in his position pending the completion of the case or whether he would be placed on required leave.  

After taking legal advice, it was decided that Mr. Walton would stay on at the authority until the charges are decided.  

Commerce Minister Wayne Panton, who has oversight responsibility for the Maritime Authority, confirmed he was informed of the board’s decision on Friday.  

The Maritime Authority board is appointed by Cabinet, but the board is directly responsible for decisions regarding the appointment and contract of the chief executive officer. Mr. Panton said he had no direct involvement in the decision to keep Mr. Walton on.  

Mr. Walton was arrested just after midnight Feb. 25 by RCIPS officers on suspicion of assault and suspicion of insulting the modesty of a woman. Police did not state where the arrest occurred.  

Mr. Walton has been the maritime authority’s chief executive since May 2004.  

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