Exposing Tower of London drugs and bullying led to firing, says ex-chief

Maj. Gen. Keith Cima alleged unauthorized tours of the Crown Jewels and allowing young female tourists to stay on the grounds during an unfair dismissal tribunal.
LONDON —There is trouble at the Tower of London, and heads are rolling.
The former governor of the tower says he was fired after challenging bullying, rule-breaking and marijuana-growing at the 900-year-old fortress. Maj. Gen. Keith Cima got the axe in January and appeared Tuesday at an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal.
In a written statement to the tribunal, reported in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, Cima alleged he was fired because he “stood up against bullies” and uncovered financial impropriety and cannabis-growing on the tower grounds.
He said that after being appointed in 2006 he found “completely unacceptable” practices including illegal raffles at the tower’s on-site social club, unauthorized tours of the Crown Jewels and allowing young female tourists to stay on the grounds.
Historic Royal Palaces, the body that runs the Tower, denies Cima’s claims. It says the allegations of wrongdoing were investigated but that no proof was found.
On Tuesday it said it could not comment further during an ongoing hearing.
The tower — a former royal residence and prison that houses the Crown Jewels — is staffed by 35 yeoman warders known as Beefeaters, military veterans who dress in distinctive black and scarlet Tudor-style uniforms.
The guide tourists around the tower and share its eventful history of imprisonment and executions — including the beheading of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII. But more recently the turmoil has been among the staff.
In 2009 two male warders were suspended for allegedly harassing Moira Cameron, the first female Beefeater. One of the two was later paid compensation after management agreed he had been wrongly fired.
Cima claims he was fired after opposing that decision.
In a statement submitted Tuesday to Cima’s tribunal, Cameron said she had been “absolutely devastated” by the decision to apologize and pay compensation because it gave the impression she had been exaggerating her claims that she was bullied. She said Cima had expressed sympathy with her position.
The tower was founded by King William I shortly after he conquered England in 1066, and it served as a royal residence for several hundred years.
It is more famous as a prison. Famous inmates have included Sir Walter Raleigh; Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I; Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up Parliament; and Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess.
Two wives of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, were beheaded at the tower.
The Beefeater name is thought to derive from the guards’ former privilege of having their fill of beef from the king’s table.
Cassandra Vinograd contributed to this report.

Tidak ada komentar

Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.