Jersey's government has confirmed that the Channel Islands' erstwhile Director of Civil Aviation has resigned, with immediate effect.
The announcement follows a decision last week by Guernsey's States Assembly to remove Dominic Lazarus from his post, over allegations of incompetence.
Mr Lazarus has been suspended since August while complaints about his conduct and competence have been investigated. Last week politicians in Guernsey agreed to remove him by 27 votes to 1 with 9 abstentions - the politician voting against was former Economic Development President Charles Parkinson.
Following a damning review, a redacted version of which was published in a policy letter, Economic Development President Neil Inder said his committee had little choice but to recommend his removal from the position, which gave Mr Lazarus primary responsibility to ensure the safety of Channel Island aircraft and investigate aviation incidents.
He said Mr Lazarus had been given full access to the unredacted report detailing the findings of the investigation. Deputy Inder also confirmed that Mr Lazarus had written to the committee in response to the report.
"The committee has considered that response, but considered the findings of the report are well-established," Deputy Inder said.
On the balance of probability, the investigation concluded that Mr Lazarus:
failed to demonstrate his ability to work as a regulator and apply the law in a fair and evidence-based manner, and to seek or follow advice about technical or legal aspects of his role;
failed to demonstrate he meets the skills and competencies required for some aspects of his role, in particular airworthiness and aviation security;
failed to lead and manage the Office of the DCA to meet the required levels of service and customers’ expectations;
and undermined the standing of the Office of the DCA and exposed the States of Guernsey of increased risks of litigation and damage to its reputation through his actions.
The report into Mr Lazarus's conduct concluded by saying: "The investigating officer has identified evidence, which shows, on the balance of probabilities, that there is a combination of repeated poor performance, failure to learn from previous mistakes and lack of competence as a regulator on the DCA’s part."
According to the report, Mr Lazarus responded by saying that his service was under-resourced and that the Committee for Economic Development had not provided funding to operate this regulatory function to a good standard.
He said he always provided requested documentation to the correct standard for assessment and contested that he was regularly blamed him for delays when paperwork had not actually reached him.
Today, Jersey's government says that Mr Lazarus, has resigned from his post with immediate effect, but the island remains committed to having a joint Channel Islands’ office of the Director of Civil Aviation.
In the interim period, the Deputy Director of Civil Aviation for Jersey, Inez Bartolo, who has been carrying out the functions of the Office of the DCA, will be appointed Acting DCA for Jersey.
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