Governor says Baines is owed payout

Commissioner David Baines

Outgoing Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines is due his final year’s pay and benefits – including more than $130,000 in salary – following his separation from the police service a year before the end of his contract, according to Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s office.

A statement sent to the Cayman Compass on Wednesday clarified that the commissioner and governor’s office had mutually agreed that the veteran U.K. lawman could not continue in his position due to a number of factors.

Commissioner David Baines
Commissioner David Baines

“Commissioner Baines has not resigned,” the statement read. “He will leave his post by mutual consent as the unfair criticism and defamatory comments [have] undermined his authority to the extent that his leadership of the RCIPS is no longer tenable. Given this, the governor determined that it was in the best interests of the Cayman Islands to honor the terms and conditions of the commissioner’s contract.”

Mr. Baines’s departure leaves Cayman with the prospect of hiring a new police commissioner within the next 14 months and paying that person a six-figure salary, while at the same time paying Mr. Baines, effectively doubling the Cayman government’s normal expenditure for that position.

On the other hand, Premier Alden McLaughlin pointed out Tuesday that finding a permanent police commissioner in the current climate might prove challenging.

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“Given the reaction of the [political] opposition to Mr. Baines, we may find ourselves in difficulty filling the role quickly,” the premier said.

The previous RCIPS commissioner who held the post under a long-term contract, Stuart Kernohan, also did not last until the end of his working agreement. Mr. Kernohan was terminated in 2008 by former Governor Stuart Jack, about a year prior to the end of his four-year deal. Mr. Kernohan sued the Cayman Islands government over the firing and won a substantial settlement following a protracted court battle of almost five years.

Following Mr. Kernohan’s tenure, a number of temporary replacement commissioners from the U.K. and Cayman filled the role, including U.K. Metropolitan Police senior officer David George, former U.K. Civil Nuclear Constabulary deputy chief James Smith and RCIPS Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis. One candidate who was appointed as acting commissioner, former St. Helena police chief Royce Hipgrave, decided not to take the job 48 hours after arriving in Cayman.

By the time Mr. Baines was appointed and took over in mid-2009, the police force was facing a “gap” – as he described it – of about 85 police vacancies, mostly police officer jobs but also some civilian positions.

“The RCIPS has seen … the hemorrhaging of skilled people leaving the force,” Mr. Baines told the Legislative Assembly in early 2010.

The commissioner also noted that the police service had to recruit neighborhood police officers, whose numbers had dwindled at the time to 12 from a previous 30 positions.

Anti-Corruption Commission

According to its last public report, the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission is “actively investigating” 12 cases of corruption, noting complaints had dropped by more than half since mid-2013.

The membership of the commission has been spotty over the past year, with Commissioner Baines, the chairman, serving as its lone member for a period. Since December, local businessman Norman Bodden has served on the commission. The acting auditor general and acting complaints commissioner are also serving on the Anti-Corruption Commission until full-time replacements for those positions are found.

Commission members confirmed Wednesday that Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis would also fill in as chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

“The work of the Anti-Corruption Commission will continue despite the departure of [Mr. Baines],” according to the statement sent by Commissions Secretariat manager Deborah Bodden. “The investigators will continue to work diligently on all investigative matters which are undertaken and overseen by the Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Ms. Bodden confirmed that the commission held its first meeting in more than a year this month. She said another member of the commission appointed from civil society should be named shortly.

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  1. Governor Kilpatrick and premier McLaughlin , was Mr Baines terminated ? Or did he quit because of all the unfair criticism and defamatory comments ? Then to say he can’t continue to function under those conditions is very poor excuse , and the people of Cayman Islands needs to know what is what sense taxpayers are paying .

    If Mr Baines was terminated , then I think he should not be eligible for benefits or unserved time in the contract . I think that how it works world wide , but I know this is a political issue .

    Maybe this whole issue of the CoP job and contract should be enough to open the eyes of everyone to see that a overhaul is necessary , and a hearing on this matter should be done in the LA .

  2. My thoughts only, I want to be fair in considering the feelings of the Commissioner also. We may feel that he should not be paid the years salary, however, clearly he has “Not resigned”, but because trust has gone in his authority , I believe the undue stress would cause any man to want to leave before time.
    I feel that we should let the dirt settle on this and wait on time to take its course.
    There is one paragraph I am concerned about however; and that is trying to understand what the Premier means when he says “Finding a Permanent Police Commissioner in the current climate might prove challenging?”
    Have we not found Premiers in the same current climate, and did any of them prove challenging?
    I say, any successor who takes up the position will have their fate challenged. The key to success in this position is never to try and hang your hat where you need a stool to reach it. A successor who put themselves in the position of not treating every one fairly because of creed and color, and feel that Caymanians in the Force are not capable of getting promotions, and giving only a pat on the back to a selected few, will suffer the same consequences. A noose will be made for them in quick time. So it is very wise to learn by another’ mistake.

  3. I’ll reserve my comments on whether or not he’s the right man for the job because I don’t know everything about the whole story, something in my opinion an investigation would have cleared up, however since he quit this may never happen which does seem kind of convenient.

    On any account a lot of people have been calling for him to step down or get removed, now it seems they got what they asked for. All we can do now is sit back and see what the outcome is, I certainly hope it’s a good one for everyone’s sake.

    As far as getting paid for the rest of his contract. Didn’t he quit? So why should he still get paid ? I can see if he was put on leave or the contract broken by the CIG, but if he did indeed quit, he shouldn’t still get paid. Quitting because people talk about you to me isn’t a good reason to be still owed money, people in public positions such as the COP or Politicians should be used to this type of thing and have a skin thick enough to deal with it. They face criticism every day, look at the hell Bush went through, I have to commend him for standing tall during that whole escapade while continuing to do his job in the best way he knows. For those that don’t like it, he was elected by the people so he deserves the same respect from everyone else in the LA that they would expect from him. Right now he is in the Opposition seat doing the job he was elected to do albeit a little tame if you ask me compared to what he had to deal with on a daily basis when he was premier.

    It sounds like there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye, if they forced Baines out then say it. I think Baines should have kept doing his job until the last day or until he was asked to leave by those that have the power to. If he just quit because he couldn’t take the heat, he’s owed nothing.

    Just my opinion.

  4. I have much sympathy for Commissioner Baines. I believe he is a man of integrity who have come to realise, together with the Governor, that his position is untenable. That is not him ‘quitting’, it is an acknowledgement that he cannot go on against a backdrop ion ill informed venom.
    The problem arises because of the meddling by politicians. It is a matter of fact that in most democratic countries there is a clear separation between the Government and Law and Enforcement. I am not convinced Alden McLaughlin or Bernie Bush would have put forward motions of no confidence in the Judiciary and they should not have done so with the RCIPS. Not to have taken their concerns to the Governor suggests they have little faith in that institution – a fact that brings into question the continued relationship between the Islands and the UK.
    The Compass, in its editorial today, makes the point strongly, that the problems of the Cayman Islands are not ones that the RCIPS can solve. There are a number of social, economic and educational issues that need to be addressed and politicians would be better serving their communities by tackling these and not having a pop at the RCIPS Commissioner.
    The result of their meddling is a man with more integrity that many politicians will leave. I do not believe that it will be long before there is a steady trail of ex patriate officers leaving the service and there will not be a large pool of competent officers waiting to take their place – yes, there will be plenty who want to laze on the beaches but few who will want to bang their heads against the politician led undermining of the service.
    His deputy will follow soon and the Assistant Commissioner, Anthony Ennis, another with integrity, who 10 years ago said he did not want the top job, is left repair the damage politicians have caused.
    With Baines gone, which politicians will have the [fortitude] to tackle the wider issues?

  5. Under English employment law there is a concept known as “constructive dismissal”.

    That is to say by your acts you make it impossible or so unpleasant for someone to do their job they are forced to quit.

    For example a company puts someone in a small, windowless office and gives them nothing to do but stare at the wall all day.
    Is COP Baines being fairly criticized, as is proper, or is he having his authority undermined in a way to deliberately force him to quit?

  6. Well how much did it cost the Cayman public purse to keep Debbie Drummund and Angela Martins on “leave” for a number of years at 6 figure salaries each? So just because these are born Caymanians, and female no one jumps up in the air over this? Fair is fair and right is right. Folks have very short memories these days