EXCLUSIVE-Inquiry into IDB chief backs accusations of relationship with staff member: sources

EXCLUSIVE-Inquiry into IDB chief backs accusations of relationship with staff member: sources

By Cassandra Garrison and Andrea Shalal

MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – An independent investigation has found evidence that the head of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mauricio Claver-Carone, had an intimate relationship with a staff member, in an investigation by an outside firm. initiated after a complaint, three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The report also cited examples of Claver-Carone’s abuse of power, including firings of some bank employees that investigators believe were retaliation for various personal conflicts, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is still ongoing. is in progress.

Claver-Carone said the investigation did not “substantiate the false and anonymous allegations” made by the whistleblower. Claver-Carone “has not yet formally received the report” but was able to informally review a copy on Tuesday, his spokeswoman told Reuters.

“I would like the opportunity to officially respond to the investigation findings in accordance with Bank rules and international standards,” he said.

One of the sources, a former high-ranking US official, said it is highly unusual to post such a document on the institution’s website, given the ongoing investigation. “He is accused of misusing the bank’s resources, and by defending himself, he is doing just that: misusing the bank’s resources,” the former official said.

The Davis Polk law firm presented the results of its investigation to bank officials on Monday. The IDB’s board of directors hired the company to investigate allegations made against Claver-Carone in an email sent in late March.

The investigation concluded that Claver-Carone had an intimate relationship with a high-level employee who previously worked with him at the White House under former President Donald Trump, according to the three sources with knowledge of the findings. Reuters has not seen a copy of the report.

A relationship between Claver-Carone and someone she directly supervised would violate the IDB’s code of ethics. One of the sources said the report said Claver-Carone had not disclosed the prior relationship.

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The official, in written testimony presented to investigators, denied “all accusations suggesting any violation of the code of ethics” and said that she had not received any written notification on the matter.

The IDB is a development bank that, although much smaller than the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, is a key actor for financing in Latin America.

The bank’s 14-member board of directors, based in Washington, reviewed the report on Monday and met again on Tuesday to consider next steps, the sources said. It will meet again on Wednesday with representatives of the 48 member countries.

The United States, the country that contributes the most funds to the bank, was aware of the report and is “closely examining it,” a Treasury Department spokesman said.

The board has offered to share the investigation findings with Claver-Carone before they were released Monday, but only under certain conditions, including that no retaliation be taken against the investigation participants. Claver-Carone refused, a source said.

A letter to the law firm advising Claver-Carone, seen by Reuters, says the terms of the offer were unacceptable and that Claver-Carone was repeatedly denied the opportunity to learn about the allegations against him and speak in his own defense.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City and Andrea Shalal in Washington. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo and Ricardo Figueroa)

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