© Reuters A man stands next to a screen with the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) logo at the Atalapa Convention Center in Panama City. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
By Cassandra Garrison and Andrea Shallal
MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An independent investigation found evidence that Inter-American Development Bank chief Mauricio Claver-Caron had a close relationship with an employee, according to an outside firm’s review, two sources close to the investigation told Reuters.
The report also cited examples of Claver-Caron’s abuse of power, including the firing of some bank employees in what investigators believe was retaliation for various personal conflicts, a process that is still ongoing, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In a statement, Claver-Caron, who has not seen the written report but was questioned by investigators, said the investigation did not substantiate the false and unsubstantiated allegations made by the informant.
“I welcome the opportunity to publicly respond to the findings of the investigation in accordance with banking law and international standards,” he said.
The findings of the months-long investigation were presented to the bank’s directors on Monday by law firm Davis Polk. In late March, he was asked by the IDB to investigate allegations made against Claver-Carone in a whistleblower email.
Claver-Carron previously had a close relationship with a senior staffer who worked with him at the White House under former President Donald Trump, two sources familiar with the findings said after the investigation was completed. Reuters has not seen a copy of the report.
The relationship between Claver-Caron and someone he directly manages at the bank appears to violate the IDB’s code of conduct.
The employee, in a written statement to investigators, denied “all allegations of violation of labor regulations” and said she had not received written notice of any allegations.
The IDB is a development bank that, while much smaller than the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, is a key player in Latin America.
The Washington-based bank’s 14-member board of directors will review the report on Monday and meet again on Tuesday to take next steps, the sources said.
The United States, the bank’s largest shareholder, is aware of the report and is “closely reviewing it,” a Treasury Department spokesman said.
The board offered to share the investigation’s findings with Claver-Caron before Monday’s hearing, but only under certain conditions, including that no retaliation be taken against the investigation’s participants. Claver-Caron declined, a source said.
A letter from Claver-Caron’s lawyers to the bank’s law firm, seen by Reuters, said Claver-Caron was repeatedly denied the opportunity to learn of the allegations against him and to present his own defence.