Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Two apparent scandals seem too much for Caerphilly,

Is there any connection between the news that a council chief has been fired after spending more than six years suspended on full pay. and  that council's interim leader has apologised to other leaders in south Wales for any "inconvenience" caused by her predecessor, amid an inquiry into his declaration of financial interests.
I am not suggesting that they are directly connected but you cant help wondering if two scandals were deemed too much and perhaps a new leader may have more resolve to put to an end the six years aga of Former Caerphilly County Borough Council chief executive Anthony O'Sullivan was suspended with full pay in March 2013 following allegations he engineered a pay increase for himself along with two other senior officers.
For six and a half years, Mr O'Sullivan has been paid his full £137,000 salary. This is despite not turning up for work once.
Councillors met on  this month  to consider a report recommending he be dismissed ''without notice for gross misconduct.''
The report described his behaviour as ''grossly negligent'' and said he ''wilfully breached his contract.''
After a meeting, held in private, interim council leader Councillor Barbara Jones said a decision was made to ''dismiss Mr O'Sullivan was immediate effect.''
In a statement, she said the council regretted ''the amount of time and money that has been spent on this matter.''
Since his suspension, Mr O'Sullivan has received nearly £900,000 in salary payments.
With legal costs and payouts to the two other officers involved, the cost to the tax payer has been estimated at between £4m and £6m.
Barbara Jones has apologised to the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) cabinet after the Wales Audit Office raised issues over David Poole's interest in a company.
He stepped down as Caerphilly leader in September pending an investigation.Mr Poole stepped down from the CCR and as Caerphilly council leader pending an inquiry into his holding of shares in the high-tech manufacturer IQE, which had been given £38.5m of public funds.
He has reportedly said he bought the shares in late 2018 - a year after the city deal investment was agreed - and was advised he did not need to declare it.
In an email seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Poole said his decision to step down had been "a temporary one" and that he expected to be cleared of any breach of his council's code of conduct.
He may well be cleared but hsus fellow Labour councillors may consider that the speed that there was at least a move to resolve the six year old scandal of mr Sullivan only came after  David Poole stepped as leader down they would be better of with a new leader.
It is not completely over , as  Anthony O'Sullivanas said he will appeal the decision. We await with anticipation of what would  evolve from any tribunal.

1 comment:

Robert Tyler said...

It is absolutely astonishing the arrogance with which the Labour Party acts in much of south Wales.