A man stands next to a screen with the logo of Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City
A man stands next to a screen with the logo of Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City March 13, 2013.

An independent investigation found evidence that the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) chief, Mauricio Claver-Carone, engaged in an intimate relationship with a staffer, in a review by an outside firm prompted by whistleblower allegations, two sources briefed on the probe told Reuters.

The report also cited examples of abuse of power by Claver-Carone, including his dismissal of some bank employees that investigators believed were in retaliation for various personal conflicts, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is still under way.

In a statement, Claver-Carone, who has not seen the written report but has been questioned by investigators, said the investigation did not "substantiate the false and anonymous allegations" made by the whistleblower.

"I would welcome the opportunity to officially respond to the investigation's findings in accordance with Bank rules and international standards," he said.

The findings of the months-long investigation were presented by legal firm Davis Polk to the bank's directors on Monday. It was solicited by the IDB to investigate allegations leveled against Claver-Carone in a whistleblower email at the end of March.

Claver-Carone had an intimate relationship with a senior staffer who previously worked with him at the White House under former President Donald Trump, the investigation concluded, according to the two sources with knowledge of the findings. Reuters has not seen a copy of the report.

A relationship between Claver-Carone and someone he directly managed at the bank would appear to violate the IDB's ethics code.

The staffer, in written testimony submitted to investigators, denied "all allegations that suggest any violation of the staff code" and said she had not received any written notification of any allegations.

The IDB is a development bank that, while far smaller than the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, is a key player in Latin America.

The 14-member board of directors of the Washington-based bank reviewed the report on Monday and met again on Tuesday to consider next steps, the sources said.

The United States, the largest shareholder in the bank, was aware of the report and "closely reviewing it," a spokesperson for the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The board had offered to share the investigation's findings with Claver-Carone before they were presented on Monday, but only under certain conditions, including that no retaliatory action be taken against participants in the investigation. Claver-Carone declined, one source said.

A letter to the bank's law firm from Claver-Carone's attorneys, seen by Reuters, said Claver-Carone had repeatedly been denied the opportunity to know the allegations against him and speak in his own defense.