By Andrea Shalal and Cassandra Garrison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The board of governors of the Inter-American Development Bank has approved a resolution to hire an outside firm to investigate allegations that IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, sources familiar with the decision said on Thursday.

Some countries were still voting on the issue, but sufficient support was reached to proceed with the investigation, two of the sources said.

IDB directors met twice last week to discuss allegations that Claver-Carone had carried out an intimate relationship with a staff member, Reuters reported exclusively.

A spokesperson for the Latin American regional development bank declined to comment about the vote.

At an online event on Friday, Claver-Carone said he was the target of an “anonymous political media campaign” and hoped to have the opportunity to defend himself. He could not be immediately reached for comment about the board vote on Thursday.

Claver-Carone did not directly address the specific allegations, which were made in an anonymous letter.

It was not immediately clear which firm would be engaged to carry out the investigation.

An anonymous email sent to the board of directors of the bank and the bank’s ethics officer at the end of March accused Claver-Carone of carrying out a relationship with a senior strategist who reported to him, according to the bank source with direct knowledge of the meeting. Reuters has not seen the email.

The email also accused Claver-Carone and the staffer of misusing IDB funds, one source said, without giving more detail.

The IDB’s ethics code on its website states: “You cannot participate in any employment-related decisions about someone with whom you have an intimate relationship.”

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington and Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City; editing by Diane Craft and Stephen Coates)