By Andrea Shalal and Cassandra Protector
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The board of the Inter-American Development Bank voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the impeachment of President Mauricio Claver Carrone after an independent ethics investigation found misconduct, three sources familiar with the matter said.
One of the sources said the recommendation brings the final decision on Latin America’s largest development bank to the Board of Governors, which will vote on it from Friday to Tuesday.
Claver-Carone did not immediately respond to a phone call or text message seeking comment.
A US Treasury spokesman declined to confirm the vote, but said the US, the bank’s largest shareholder with 30% of the voting shares, supported Claver-Carone’s removal from his position and wanted to see a “quick solution” by conservatives.
“President Clavier Carouni’s refusal to fully cooperate with the investigation, creating a climate of fear of retaliation among employees and borrowing nations, has lost the confidence of the bank’s employees and shareholders and necessitates a change of leadership,” the spokesman said. .
“It is shameful that the United States suspended the press prior to notifying me and that it is not defending Americans against what is clearly fabricated information,” Claver Carone said in a statement in response to the Treasury Department.
The bank’s 14 directors voted after four long days of discussions and the appearance of Claver Carone, who was in New York for meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that the board is nearing a unanimous vote to remove Claver Carone.
Terminating Claver Karouni, the nominee for former US President Donald Trump, would require a majority of the board’s total voting power. The bank’s three largest shareholders – the United States, Argentina and Brazil – together hold approximately 53% of the voting power. Claver-Carone took office in October 2020.
One of the sources said the governors are expected to agree with the recommendation.
The law firm Davis Polk told directors that it had found evidence to support the whistleblower’s allegations that Claver Caron had engaged in an intimate relationship with a subordinate and engaged in misconduct in violation of the bank’s rules.
Investigators said they discovered evidence including a photo of a handwritten contract on the back of a paper tablecloth, allegedly written and signed by Claver Carone and the employee, which states “we deserve absolute happiness” and a clause stating that breach of contract may give rise to a “waxed wax.” And an evil box.”
A separate source familiar with the matter said US officials were particularly concerned about “Claver Caron’s conduct during the investigation, including his refusal to make available the Islamic Development Bank’s work phone number and other records.”
The source said they objected to the “selective and misleading release of classified information aimed at distorting the investigation and shaping public opinion.” This “undermined confidence in Claver Caron’s credibility and ability to lead a rules-based multilateral development enterprise,” the source added.
Claver Karouni also denied “direct evidence” that he had an undisclosed relationship with an IDB employee who reported to him directly, and who gave him increases of more than 45% of basic salary in less than one year, the source. added.
The source said US officials felt Claver Caron had created “an environment in which employees fear retaliation, including what appears to be actual retaliation against senior staff and employees who fully and honestly participated in the investigation.”
US Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, had vehemently opposed Trump’s nomination of Claver Carone as the first American to lead the bank, a job usually held by someone from Latin America.
“This tradition should be brought back to life with someone of the highest level of integrity and professionalism,” Leahy told Reuters.