Cayman’s chief immigration officer will be spending her second holiday season on paid suspension, with an administrative matter pending against her remaining unresolved.
Linda Evans was put on required leave as of Dec. 1, 2014 in connection with an investigation being conducted internally by the government’s Ministry of Home Affairs.
The ministry has previously stated that the probe relates to a “number of allegations of misconduct by the chief immigration officer, which require a full investigation.”
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith has taken the helm at the Immigration Department since Ms. Evans’s suspension.
“I can only confirm that Ms. Evans remains on required leave and the administrative process is progressing,” said ministry acting chief officer Wesley Howell Monday when asked about the matter.
Mr. Smith has repeatedly refused to comment on the issue, as has Ms. Evans. The government’s internal review determined by last February that the misconduct allegations against Ms. Evans were administrative in nature, meaning no criminal wrongdoing had been alleged against her.
Since then, no progress in the administrative investigation has been revealed.
According to government personnel regulations, Ms. Evans’s case and any potential punitive measures will be decided by civil service managers. Those rules state the suspended chief immigration officer must be given the opportunity to formally respond to the allegations against her.
The Cayman Compass has confirmed from multiple government sources that the suspension is in connection with an investigation into an award of Caymanian status and other administrative matters.
Ms. Evans has been suspended under provisions of the government’s Personnel Regulations, which state: “The appointing officer (with the approval of the Head of the Civil Service if the period of leave is to be more than 30 days) may require an employee to go on required leave where the appointing officer deems it to be in the public interest for the employee to do so, and that leave shall be leave on full pay for such period as the appointing officer deems necessary.”
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the required leave provision was invoked “to allow the allegations to be investigated quickly and thoroughly.”
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has agreed to extend Ms. Evans’s leave period until the internal probe is completed.