IDB ousts Trump nominee Claver-Carone for violating ethics rules with relationship with subordinate

An external probe found that the bank’s president was not only romantically involved with a senior staffer, but also increased her salary

Mauricio Claver-Carone, in an image from August 2020.
Mauricio Claver-Carone, in an image from August 2020.JIM LO SCALZO (EFE)

The president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mauricio Claver-Carone, was fired on Monday over his relationship with a subordinate whom he favored with his decisions. The governors of the IDB voted to remove Claver-Carone as president after an ethics investigation showed that he had violated the institution’s code of ethics. The external probe, conducted by law firm Davis Polk & Landwell, found that Claver-Carone not only had a romantic relationship with a senior staffer, but also signed off on salary increases totaling more than 45% of base pay in less than one year.

The decision comes after the IDB’s board of directors unanimously recommended Clever-Carone’s dismissal last week. The government of US President Joe Biden had withdrawn its support for the president, who had been nominated during the last stage of Donald Trump’s presidency. He was a controversial pick from the beginning, as until then Latin America’s largest development lender had never had a non-Latin American president. The United States is the IDB’s largest shareholder, with just over 30% of capital, which allowed Trump to push for Claver-Carone’s appointment.

The finance officials who sit on IDB’s board of governors were given until Tuesday to cast their vote on whether to dismiss Clever-Carone, but by Monday, there were already enough votes to dismiss the president, according to sources cited by several news agencies. The IDB did not answer a request for information from EL PAÍS and has not yet officially announced the dismissal of Clever-Carone.

“His creation of a climate of fear of retaliation among staff and borrowing countries has forfeited the confidence of the Bank’s staff and shareholders and necessitates a change in leadership,” a Treasury Department spokesperson told AP last week.

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