IDB directors unanimously recommend firing Claver-Carone after ethics probe

Visitors walk past a screen bearing the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) logo at the Atrapa Convention Center in Panama City on March 13, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

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WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The Inter-American Development Bank’s board voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the firing of President Mauricio Claver-Carone after independent ethics, three sources familiar with the vote said. The investigation found misconduct.

The proposal brings the final decision on Latin America’s largest development bank to its top institutional council, which is due to vote Friday through Tuesday, one of the sources said.

Claver-Carone did not immediately respond to calls or texts seeking comment.

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A Treasury Department spokesman declined to confirm the vote, but said the U.S., the bank’s largest shareholder with 30 percent of its voting rights, supported Clover-Carone’s removal and wanted to see a “quick resolution” from governors.

“President Clover Carrone’s refusal to fully cooperate with the investigation and to create a climate of fear of retaliation among employees and borrowing countries has lost the confidence of the bank’s employees and shareholders, necessitating a leadership change,” the spokesman said. .

“It is shameful for the United States to comment to the media before notifying me, and it did not protect two Americans from clearly fabricated information,” Clover-Carone said in a statement in response to the Treasury Department.

The bank’s 14 directors voted after four days of lengthy discussions and the presence of Claver-Carone, who was in New York this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the board was close to reaching a consensus on a vote to fire Clover Carrone.

Clover Carone, the nominee to terminate former U.S. President Donald Trump, requires a majority of the council’s total voting power. The bank’s three largest shareholders — the United States, Argentina and Brazil — together hold nearly 53 percent of the voting power. Clover-Carone took office in October 2020.

Governors are expected to approve the proposal, one of the sources said.

Law firm Davis Polk told directors it found evidence to support the whistleblower’s allegation that Claver-Carone had an intimate relationship with a subordinate and engaged in misconduct that violated banking rules.

Investigators said they found evidence, including a photo of a handwritten contract on the back of a paper placemat, allegedly written and signed by Claver-Carone and the staff member, that read “We Deserve Absolute Happiness”, and One stipulated that any breach of contract would result in “candles and naughty boxes”.

Another source familiar with the matter said U.S. officials were particularly concerned about Clover-Carone’s “conduct during the investigation, including his refusal to provide work calls and other records issued by his IDB.”

They questioned his “selective and misleading release of classified information designed to taint investigations and shape public opinion,” the sources said. This “diminishes confidence in the credibility and ability of Claver-Carone to lead the rules-based multilateral development agency”, the source added.

Claver-Carone also denied “direct evidence” that he had a secret relationship with an IDB staff member who reported directly to him and that he had raised more than 45% of his base salary in less than a year, sources added .

U.S. officials believe Clover-Carone has created “an environment in which employees fear retaliation, including what appears to be actual retaliation against senior and rank-and-file employees who participated fully and honestly in the investigation,” the sources said.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, has vehemently opposed Trump’s nomination of Claver-Carone as the first American to lead the bank, a position traditionally held by Latin America. person in charge.

“This tradition should be restored to a man of the highest integrity and professionalism,” Leahy told Reuters.

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Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington and Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City; Editing by Josie Kao and Stephen Coates

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Cassandra Garrison

Thomson Reuters

Mexican journalist focuses on climate change and telecom-focused companies. Previously based in Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, covering Argentina’s debt crisis, the US-China fight for influence in Latin America, and the coronavirus pandemic.

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