Pierre Blames Conspiracy For CDB President’s Resignation – St. Lucia Times

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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has blamed a conspiracy for the resignation of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) President Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon.

“ I make no bones about it and this is not personal to anybody, to any function to the bank, a conspiracy is what caused Gene Leon to resign,“ Pierre, Saint Lucia’s Finance Minister, told parliament on Tuesday.

“Gene Leon was removed from his job by three people on a whistleblower accusation,“ the Castries East MP asserted.

He indicated that the Governors were left in the dark.

“This is the President of a Bank. Three people walk into his office and tell him give up his laptop and give up his telephone because there’s a whistleblower complaint,“ Pierre stated.

He explained that Saint Lucia was not among the three countries.

Pierre spoke of the need to respect institutions but also personnel in those institutions.

“I did not go public at the time because I thought that good sense would prevail and it was not possible for three people to cause the President of a Bank, a man of the calibre and status of Gene Leon to basically lose his job,“ the Saint Lucia Prime Minister said.

Pierre emphasised that he supports the CDB.

Nevertheless, he declared that some of the institution’s rules need changing.

Pierre noted that Leon did not await the outcome of the investigation but resigned.

He also observed that a foreign firm conducted the investigation.

“The lawyers that were used to prosecute him were foreign lawyers. The Bank didn’t find it fit to use any regional lawyers Mr. Speaker,“ Pierre told parliament.

“And when I caused a resolution at the Board of Governors to get a second opinion on the first opinion of these foreign lawyers, I was outvoted,“ Pierre disclosed.

To desk thumping from MPs in the House of Assembly, he expressed Saint Lucia’s full support for Gene Leon’s work at the CDB.

Last month, the Saint Lucia-based law firm Fosters, acting on Leon’s behalf, gave the CDB until May 4 “to negotiate an amicable separation.”

Fosters said it would go to the courts in Barbados “or any other jurisdiction more appropriate, to enforce our client’s legal and constitutional rights“.

In a five-page letter dated May 2 and addressed to the chairman and members of the Board of Governors of the Barbados-based CDB, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves had branded the case against Dr. Leon as “flimsy”.

‘For me, Gene Leon’s integrity remains intact, though unsuccessful attempts were made to have it impugned,” Gonsalves wrote.

Leon, a Saint Lucian, was the sixth President of the CDB and assumed office on May 4, 2021.

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