By JOSHUA GOODMAN – Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — A former Trump official who heads Latin America’s largest development lender on Tuesday criticized an external investigation into an anonymous complaint that he carried on a romantic relationship with a subordinate.
The investigation’s findings have not been made public, but Mauricio Claver-Carone said in a statement that it did not substantiate the “false and anonymous allegations” about his activities as president of the Inter-American Development Bank.
Claver-Carone, who previously served as the White House’s top national security adviser on Latin America, also harshly criticized the manner in which the probe was conducted, saying he was never given an opportunity to officially respond to the accusations.
“It is important to note the investigative process failed to meet international standards of integrity that both the IDB and the region strive to exemplify,” he said. “In clear and direct contravention of IDB ethics rules, neither I nor any other IDB staff member has been given an opportunity to review the final investigative report, respond to its conclusions, or correct inaccuracies.”
It is not known what steps, if any, the bank’s board will take next. Executive directors representing Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and other countries did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
The probe, carried out by the law firm Davis Polk, was launched by the bank’s board after it received an email in March requesting an investigation into possible misconduct by Claver-Carone.
The email, which was shown to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the probe on the condition of anonymity, was sent from a Gmail address referencing “corruption” at the IADB, as the bank is also known.
“It is widely known, inside and outside of the IADB, that the President has a romantic and inappropriate relationship with one of his subordinates,” according to the email, which is signed by “A Friend of the IADB.”
Among other irregularities. the email accuses Claver-Carone and the person he directly managed of inflating expenses and booking adjacent hotel rooms when traveling together for work.
While offering no evidence, the sender provided a list of possible witnesses to corroborate the accusations, including Claver-Carone’s former wife and a former driver.
A bank official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, said the employee has denied having an affair with her boss. As part of the probe, Claver-Carone’s ex-wife also signed an affidavit denying the anonymous email’s claim she told bank staff that her marriage ended as a result of his affair with the woman.
Claver-Carone has been a lightning rod for criticism from Democrats ever since he was elected as president of the bank in the waning months of the Trump administration.
The Miami native is the first U.S. citizen to head the Washington-based bank and some in the region, especially on the left, complained that his selection broke the longstanding tradition of having a Latin American at the helm.
Joshua Goodman on Twitter: @APJoshGoodman