Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Daily Post

This is the dail post take which sadly doesn't pick up that The CEO consulted the District Auditor before acting:

Council suspends deputy chief over misconduct allegations
Nov 14 2007
EXCLUSIVE by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post

ONE of Merseyside’s most senior town hall officials has been suspended, it emerged last night.
Alan Moore, deputy chief executive of Sefton Council, has been told to stay away from work after an allegation of misconduct was made against him.
Last night it also emerged that lead-ing councillor and TV presenter Debi Jones had also been reported to the Standards Board for England as part of the investigation into Mr Moore.
Cllr Jones, who represents the Manor ward, and is Tory Parliamentary candidate for Sefton Central, last night said she did not know why she had been reported, but strenuously denied any wrong-doing.
It is the latest episode in a series of events that has rocked the upper tiers of Sefton Council.
Earlier this week, the Daily Post revealed how an offer of retirement or redundancy to chief executive Graham Haywood will have to be withdrawn because correct procedures had not been followed.
It formed part of a fraught review of management posts that saw the Liberal Democrats clash with Labour and the Conservatives over how far the “cull” of roles should go.
A Lib-Dem proposal to save £600,000 by deleting eight posts, including Mr Moore’s, failed after the two other parties teamed up.
Their combined vote forced through the deletion of five jobs to save £300,000, but Mr Moore’s post was not included in the cuts.
Last night, council leader Tony Robertson said that, as far as he was aware, the suspension was related to the power struggle currently going on at the council.
As well as his role as deputy chief executive, Mr Moore holds the role of strategic director of regeneration which oversees major redevelopment projects in the borough which stretches from Southport to Bootle.
Last night, Cllr Robertson said: “I don’t really know the details behind this, but those that I am aware of are confidential.
“I understand there is no connection with the major services review, as far as I am aware there is no connection whatsoever.
“In these sort of situations, where issues are uncovered or allegations are made, we have to suspend somebody as a precautionary measure so that an investigation can be carried out.
“Nothing should be read into the fact that the chap has been suspended.”
He said he thought the investigation would take a matter of weeks before it was concluded.
It is understood that Mr Haywood reported Cllr Jones to the Standards Board for England.
Cllr Jones said: “There’s all sorts of political shenanigans going on at the moment.
“I strenuously deny any wrong-doing, I have done absolutely nothing wrong.”
“I will stand with my head held high, I am truthful, I have integrity and I am honest.”
She said she would be demanding to know exactly why she had been reported.
“I am furious that my name has been dragged into this.”
A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “An allegation of misconduct is being considered and, in accordance with the agreed Sefton procedures, the member of staff has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
“The suspension is a normal precautionary procedure in this situation and there is a presumption of innocence until the matter has been investigated and considered by the council.
“We will not be commenting further during the investigation.”