(CMR) Less than eight months after staff at the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU) signed a letter of no confidence against Dr. Jim McNelly he will no longer be continuing in the role.
The director's last day of employment is today at 4:00 p.m. when his contract expires exclusive sources have confirmed. This brings his employment to an end after just three short years on the job.
The government has opted not to renew his contract and he has actually been on leave since November 2020. He has been largely overseas attending to personal matters and recovering from hip replacement surgery.
In July 2020 CMR reported that a letter of no confidence had been signed by over half of the staff expressing that they had lost all confidence in the leadership of Dr. McNelly. They expressed concerns at the time over a number of issues including what they alleged was a complete lack of control of the local mosquito population.
Deputy Director Alan Wheeler has been acting MRCU director since and is said to be “cleaning up the mess” that Dr. Nelly left behind. Wheeler has worked with the MRCU for over 21 years and is a graduate of Liverpool's School of Tropical Medicine. Dr. McNeely's appointment was controversial back in 2018 because many felt that Wheeler was aptly qualified for the post and overlooked nonetheless.
The director post was being advertised last year when the complaints to the government were made and many are hopeful that Wheeler will now be successful in obtaining the permanent role.