The president of the Inter-American Development Bank has attacked his own institution over its investigation of allegations he had an undisclosed relationship with a senior staffer, arguing that an external report had not substantiated the “false” claims.
Mauricio Claver-Carone, a Trump-era nominee who leads Latin America’s main development bank, told the Financial Times that the IDB had broken its own rules on confidentiality, privacy and due process “over a dozen times” during the investigation.
The Washington-based institution hired US law firm Davis Polk to investigate anonymous allegations made by a whistleblower against Claver-Carone and the senior staffer in March, which also included accusations of excessive expense claims for travel.
The report was delivered to the bank’s board of executive directors this week and has not been published.
“The bottom line is that there have been over a dozen violations of the bank’s rules on confidentiality, privacy and due process against me, and zero actual evidence to substantiate any violations by me,” Claver-Carone told the FT. “The score is 12-0 against those trying to smear me and my staff.”
In a public statement, the IDB president said he had “supported and participated in this unprecedented investigation, which, as expected, does not substantiate the false and anonymous allegations that were made against me or IDB staff in the press.”
He added: “I would welcome the opportunity to officially respond to the investigation’s findings in accordance with bank rules and international standards.
The main development bank for Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB last year lent directly a record $13.1bn to fund infrastructure and help improve health, education and sustainability in the region as it struggles to recover from the pandemic.
Several larger Latin American countries, led by Argentina, opposed Claver-Carone’s appointment in 2020 on the grounds that he was a partisan figure in his previous role as Trump’s top adviser on the region.
They also objected that he was a US nominee, when the bank had always been headed by a Latin American. However, Claver-Carone won election by a large margin with support from the region’s smaller countries, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, which have traditionally been under-represented in the institution’s top ranks.
“Now, their ongoing effort [against me] is based on loosely fabricated allegations that have already been dismissed,” Claver-Carone told the FT.
He also dismissed suggestions that he had not co-operated fully with the investigation: “Clearly anyone that looks at this rationally will see I participated [in the investigation] above and beyond. My refusing to waive my constitutional rights and never speak of it to anyone ever, does not make me uncooperative.”
Friends of the accused senior staffer told the FT they believed the allegations against her were false and largely based on opportunistic testimony from her ex-husband, which they say had been discredited. “The board are waging asymmetric warfare against her,” one friend said.
The law firm’s report could provide ammunition for some Latin American countries on the bank’s board that have been seeking a reason to remove Claver-Carone before the end of his five-year term. It is unclear what action the board will take next.
Claver-Carone has previously said that attacks on him were unfair and motivated by his desire to reform the IDB.
Source: Financial Times