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.