Paid leave continues for convicted immigration officer

Police investigate the scene of the April 23, 2015 crash that killed Donnie Ray Connor. An immigration officer, who remains on paid leave, has pleaded guilty in connection with the incident. Photo: Brent Fuller

A Cayman Islands immigration officer who pleaded guilty last week to causing death by careless driving will remain on paid leave with the department at least until his sentencing date.

Nicholas Patrick Tibbetts pleaded guilty on Friday, July 22 to one charge against him in connection with the hit-and-run car crash that killed 59-year-old bicyclist Donnie Ray Connor.

Tibbetts’s sentencing was set for Nov. 8 as of last week.

Government officials said Tibbetts was placed on required leave [paid suspension] in May 2015 and would remain on paid leave until the court case against him finishes.

“Following the conclusion of the court proceedings, a decision will be taken with respect to Mr. Tibbetts’s employment with the Department of Immigration,” said Ministry of Home Affairs Acting Deputy Chief Officer Michael Ebanks. “That decision will be taken in accordance with the Public Service Management Law and Personnel Regulations.”

Mr. Connor was struck and killed early on April 23, 2015 along the Linford Pierson Highway by a vehicle which left the scene of the accident. His body was discovered shortly after by a passing cyclist.

Tibbetts was arrested on April 26, 2015 after police received information regarding a damaged vehicle that was suspected of having been involved in the fatal crash.

Tibbetts’s attorney, Amelia Fosuhene, requested a social inquiry report be completed on her client before his sentencing date.

The immigration officer is one of 31 Cayman Islands civil servants identified by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson in June as being on required leave.

Typically, longer periods of suspension from the civil service involve matters before the court, Mr. Manderson said. The longest such case he was aware of had been ongoing for about four years.

Mr. Manderson said, if convicted of a crime or of a serious administrative violation, civil servants can be “separated” – terminated – from the government.

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  1. The Regulations need amending. Why should this individual continue to receive his full salary for the next 31/2 months when he is suspended and has pleaded guilty and is only awaiting sentencing. He should have been sacked immediately on conclusion of the court proceedings , why on earth wait for the sentencing to dismiss him, or is it the case that he can only be dismissed after he is incarcerated in Northward.

  2. I think that this shows you how protected thar politicians and civil servants are in Government . After one confess to the crime , the man who is head still have to wait on the Legal system to make it’s decision. .
    In everyday life when you work for a large Company and you commit a crime, then they investigate when they find enough evidence to terminate , they do without pay , but in Government you can confess to the crime and you remain on pay .

    I think this kind of system stinks all the way hog heaven of corruption.

    Was he working when he committed the crime that he confessed to ?

  3. Roger You need to explain why you are amazed. I am retired like yourself and not speaking on behalf of the civil service.
    If the case comes to a close in November, don’t you think it would be thoughtful to wait until then.

  4. To further comment on this article Roger, I am wondering why is it that some people who have been assistants managers working in Banks and now retired think that only they live in the real world. Those people should not think they are any better than the people who Pick up your garbage every day.

    • I’m not so sure the “real world” comment was fair, but Twyla, you say you are retired. Would you happen to feel as same and comfortable financially if when you worked you spend every penny and still went into debt, not concerned for the future? This is what governments do. Around the world elected officials spend beyond the means of their national income and kick the can down the road, not worrying about how this debt will be paid.

      Cayman is in a wonderful position to live within it’s means and provide a financially secure future for generations to come. Unfortunately government wastes and wastes and wastes, and just says, well it is only a little bit, what does is matter? It is easy to waste other people’s money, but if you were asked to directly continuer to that person’s wages each month, would you do it freely? I understand that you are a compassionate woman, and I applaud you for that, but what is right, is right in my mind.