National Roads Authority director suspended in probe

Investigation into ‘misuse’ of government resources

Paul Parchment

Paul Parchment, the managing director of Cayman’s National Roads Authority, has been placed on leave following a decision of the authority’s board of directors.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the National Roads Authority Board, which oversees the agency responsible for road construction and right of way management in Cayman, discussed the issue during a meeting this week.

Board Chairman Donovan Ebanks issued the following statement late Wednesday: “The board of directors of the National Roads Authority has commissioned an investigation into possible misuse of NRA resources by a senior employee. The employee has been placed on leave pending the completion of the investigation.”

Mr. Ebanks’s statement did not identify Mr. Parchment as the employee placed on leave, but numerous government sources contacted by the Cayman Compass Wednesday confirmed that Mr. Parchment was the employee in question.

Calls and text messages seeking a comment from Mr. Parchment sent on Wednesday and Thursday were not returned.

An interim director for the NRA had not been named by press time Thursday.

It was understood that video evidence of NRA equipment being used in a project done on private property had been presented to the board, but Mr. Ebanks declined to discuss the nature of the investigation being conducted.

Mr. Parchment was named as NRA managing director in August 2014 following a period during which he and deputy director Edward Howard served as alternating acting directors.

The permanent manager’s post was left vacant following the controversial departure of former NRA director Brian Tomlinson in 2012.

Mr. Tomlinson sued and settled out of court with his employer in 2015, alleging a number of examples of “mistreatment” he said he suffered at the hands of his former employer and that his health deteriorated as a result. An undisclosed settlement amount was paid to Mr. Tomlinson.

Other probes under way

The Cayman Islands public sector – both central government and outside authorities such as the NRA – is facing various investigations and audits in several high-profile sectors at the moment.

The Cayman Islands Immigration Department has half a dozen suspended officers before the courts in a corruption case where they are alleged to have profited from sharing information about the department’s English language test with foreign workers.

The charges are due to come before the court again Friday.

Other matters concern reports of financial irregularities at the Health Services Authority, the Department of Environmental Health and the Cayman Islands Port Authority.

The Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Commission has been notified of an ongoing internal audit at the Health Services Authority regarding “irregularities” in overtime payments to security officers. The audit review came amid the suspension of a number of the Health Services Authority’s security officers.

Meanwhile, Department of Environmental Health Director Roydell Carter remains “out of office” as an internal government inquiry over the management of overtime in his department continues.

Mr. Carter has not been at work since December. Government denied reports in early January that Mr. Carter had been suspended from his job, saying he was simply on leave. An inquiry into the management of overtime at the department has been going on since December.

Financial, human resources and other administrative “irregularities” have been identified at the Cayman Islands Port Authority in a special audit completed earlier this year.

Port Authority Board of Directors Chairman Errol Bush informed staff members about the report, which he called “concerning,” in an email sent earlier this year.