Thursday, 6 December 2012

Former councillor admits £70k fraud

The case comes just months after the ex-Castle ward Conservative councillor, who had also previously stood as a Liberal Democrat, was barred from practising as a solicitor in a separate incident.

This involved a Solicitors Regulation Authority report, which banned him from all legal work after finding that while working as a process server for several firms, he abandoned sensitive documents at his former residence.

Mark O’Keeffe, 41, of Trent Road, Goring-by-Sea, who runs a legal consultancy firm, admitted stealing and spending a total of £70,000 from a client who had made an investment intended to be put into a property portfolio.

Read the full story from the source Worthing Herald

Former Lincolnshire councillor admits perverting course of justice

A FORMER East Lindsey District Councillor admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice when he appeared before Lincoln Crown Court.

Andrew Ferryman, ............, pleaded guilty to give false details after a vehicle he was driving was caught by a speed camera in February 2011.

Read the full story from the source This is Lincolnshire

Read all articles about East Lindsey District Council on this blog

Group leader calls for councillor to step down over fraud admission

The leader of Harrow Borough Council’s Conservative group has called for a councillor who pleaded guilty to fraud to stand down.

Councillor Susan Hall has said that she believes Cllr David Gawn, representative for Harrow-on-the-Hill, should stand down after admitting the offence at Harrow Crown Court on Monday.

The charge related to an incident last summer when Gawn posted a £7,000 cheque in the name of Dennis O’Brien to a bank employee.

It is said that he “dishonestly and intentionally made a representation which was untrue or misleading.”

Read the full story from the source Harrow Times

Read all articles about Harrow Borough Council on this blog

Police Officer Faces Sack For Indecent Images

A police officer could be sacked before his next court appearance after pleading guilty to making and possessing indecent images of children.

PC Christopher Little (33) pleaded guilty to six charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing an indecent image of a child at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court.

“Following his guilty plea he is to be the subject of a fast-track special case hearing which will take place before his next court appearance.”

Read the full story from the source Police Oracle

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Police team sacked for playing poker and backgammon and watching TV

When undercover officers hid cameras in a neighbourhood police base they were looking for evidence of serious crimes.

Instead the anti-corruption squad found their colleagues were spending their time playing cards and board games.

Now the shirkers have been axed after the extent of their taxpayer-funded time-wasting antics was revealed.

Hidden cameras and microphones revealed the safer neighbourhood team was so idle that members often did not even bother changing into their uniforms.

After lengthy misconduct proceedings a sergeant and a PC were dismissed last month after a disciplinary panel found them guilty of gross misconduct.

A second PC and all four of the team’s Police Community Support Officers resigned before they could be punished.

Read the full story from the source Mail-on-Line

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Policeman had sex with 'vulnerable' victims of crime while on duty

A former police officer has been jailed for two years for misconduct in a public office after admitting to having sexual relationships with victims of crime.

Former Nottinghamshire PC Simon Jones slept with one woman while on duty and in uniform after taking a statement at her home - and a second while on his way into work for a night shift.

After the case, senior officers said his behaviour was 'reprehensible' and a 'shocking abuse of power'.

Read the full story from the source Mail-on-line

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Haringey Council suspends senior finance officer

One officer, a senior member of the council’s finance unit, has been suspended following allegations of “misuse of resources”.

They were suspended at roughly the same time as problems were discovered with last year’s accounts. 

And 12 public servants are currently suspended on full pay for a variety of allegations, from assault and negligence to behaviour and theft.

Of those, three have been suspended for eight months while investigations take place.

Read the full story from the source Ham & High

Former Labour MP received £53,000 by making false expenses claims

Former Labour MP Margaret Moran received £53,000 by making false expenses claims, a court has heard.

The 57-year-old, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, is accused of 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument over the claims for parliamentary expenses.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC told the jury her claims made between 2004 and 2008 totalled around £60,000, and that Moran received around £53,000 to which she was not entitled.

The former politician was found unfit to stand trial at Southwark Crown Court due to mental health issues, so the proceedings are taking place in her absence.

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle

Police worker coaxed children into performing webcam 'sex shows'

A Police worker who coaxed children into performing webcam sex shows has been locked up.
Paedophile Ashley Whitfield used animated kids’ web-chat site ‘Habbo Hotel’ to find victims late at night.

Children as young as ten posed indecently for him via webcams in their bedrooms as their parents slept unawares.

The PCSO, who secretly recorded the images, won his victims’ trust by pretending to be a teenager.
In reality, Whitfield, 25, was a serving police community support officer with a secret obsession with child porn.

He sobbed in the dock as he was jailed for three-and-a-half years at Manchester Crown Court. He had admitted six counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, three counts of taking indecent photographs of a child, and 13 counts of possessing child pornography at an earlier hearing.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Wiltshire councillor suspended from Conservative group

A Wiltshire councillor who was reprimanded for mistreating a member of staff, has been suspended from the council's Conservative group.

Chris Humphries, who represents Aldbourne and Ramsbury, was found guilty of five breaches of Wiltshire Council's code of conduct last month.

A Conservative group spokesman said he had been suspended for three months and must undergo "officer relationship training" before being reinstated.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Barnet councillor kicked off council committees over assault charge

Former Barnet mayor Brian Coleman was last night removed from the council’s Conservative group and ousted from three committees after appearing in court charged with assaulting a woman.

But Cllr Coleman will still be able to claim a basic members’ allowance of £10,597 as an independent councillor representing Totteridge ward.

Read the full story from the source Ham & High

Councillor urged to resign after criminal conviction

CONVICTED criminal Brian Silvester has been urged to ‘do the decent thing’ and resign from Cheshire East Council.

A fellow Conservative councillor has stepped forward to question Cllr Silvester’s political future after he was fined £45,000 for putting lives at risk at his rented-out property in Crewe.

The unnamed councillor believes Cllr Silvester – who was also a one-time Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate – can no longer represent the people of Cheshire East.

Read the full story from the source Crewe Chronicle

MP resigns over false invoices

Former Labour minister Denis MacShane has quit as an MP after he wrongfully claimed at least £7,500 in expenses.

A Parliamentary committee found he had submitted 19 false invoices which were "plainly intended to deceive" Parliament's expenses authority.

The committee said it was the "gravest case" which has come to them for adjudication.

Mr MacShane, who has has repaid the money, said he wanted to take responsibility for his mistakes.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Misconduct hearing for deputy chief Bonnard

The hearing has been announced to start on Monday, November 12, and could last up to three weeks. Police say the hearing will be held in private.

Mr Bonnard will face seven allegations of gross misconduct. It follows a managed investigation carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission following a referral from Cleveland Police Authority in August last year.

One matter of potential gross misconduct has been deferred pending the outcome of the wider criminal investigation ongoing by Operation Sacristy. Mr Bonnard remains suspended from duty.

Read the full story from the source Hartlepool Mail

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Council chief is suspended from his post

The top council officer on the Scilly Isles is likely to face scrutiny after an investigation was yesterday ordered into his conduct.

Philip Hygate was suspended from his £110,000 post as chief executive following a behind closed doors meeting of senior councillors.

The decision was described as a "neutral act" to allow an inquiry.

Read the full story from the source This is Cornwall

Ex-Met DC jailed over false statements

A former detective who botched rape and sexual assault cases and then tried to cover up his failings has been jailed for 16 months.

Ryan Coleman-Farrow, 30, was sentenced for a string of failures linked to 13 cases, including falsely claiming that a rape victim had dropped charges and falsifying witness statements.

He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of misconduct in a public office at Southwark Crown Court last month.

The charges relate to rape and sexual assault investigations between January 2007 and September 2010 while Coleman-Farrow was a Detective Constable for the Metropolitan Police.

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Former mayor jailed for huge collection of child porn

Stephen Holmes, 61, who had served as Dacorum Mayor, was also a school governor.

At the time of his arrest earlier this year, he was a Conservative councillor on Dacorum Borough Council and Herts County Council, where he had held a post as deputy cabinet member for children’s services.

But today his reputation lay in shreds as he was sent to prison for 10 months.

St Albans Crown Court heard how over 16 years and while he was held in high esteem by his local community he began collecting indecent images of children.

Read the full story from the source Hemel Today

Ex-council boss jailed for fraud

Michael Hunter, a former corporate maintenance manager at Corby Borough Council, botched an extension at his home and then forged a building regulations certificate allowing the home to be sold to a couple in their 80s who were left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

The couple, in their 80s, discovered the “confidence trick” when they tried to sell the £180,000 house, in Market Harborough, a year later.

The judge was told the fraud wiped up to £50,000 off the house value, until remedial work was done.

Sentencing, Judge Silvia De Bertodano said: “This was a confidence fraud. The complainants ended up trapped in a house you fraudulently sold them.”

A Corby Council spokesman said: “We can confirm that Michael Hunter did work for us, and does not any more.”

Read the full story from the source Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Two Hampshire police officers arrested over corruption allegations

Two police officers have been arrested on corruption allegations following raids in Southampton on Thursday.

Six people were arrested as part of an investigation into disclosure of confidential police information.

Police said two female constables, aged 28 and 29, are suspected of misconduct in public office.

The 28-year-old is also suspected of perverting the course of justice and being concerned in supplying of class A drugs.

The investigation is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

She has been suspended and internal misconduct proceedings are being considered for 29-year-old.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Council officer falsely claimed travel expenses

A COUNCIL finance officer who "disgracefully" plundered taxpayers' money had dealt colleagues a "shocking slap in the face".

Simon Polglase changed his plea after more than two years of court proceedings on the morning his three-day trial was due to begin at Truro Crown Court.

The former deputy Falmouth Town Council clerk and finance officer from Goldsithney, near Penzance, admitted 11 counts of making fraudulent travel expense claims between February 2007 and 2010.

Read the full story from the source This is Cornwall

Lancashire County Council workers in metal theft probe

NINETEEN workers at two Lancashire County Council depots are being investigated over claims they have been stealing scrap metal.

 Auditors were called into the Burnley depot at the Heasandford Industrial Estate, and the Rossendale depot in Futures Park, Bacup, after concerns were raised.

The highways department investigation centres on the disposal of unwanted items taken out of roads, including iron grids and telegraph poles.

No workers have been suspended, pending the outcome of formal proceedings.

Read the full story from the source Lancashire Telegraph

Greater Manchester Police fined for memory stick theft

A police force has been fined £120,000 following the theft of a memory stick containing names of members of the public who gave statements in drug probes.

The unencrypted device with no password protection was stolen from an officer's home and had details of 1,075 people with links to serious crime investigations stored over an 11-year-period.

The USB drive, belonging to the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) drugs squad detective, is also understood to have included details of police operations, potential targets for arrest and names of officers. It has not been recovered following the burglary at his home in July 2011 when his wallet, containing the stick, and his car keys were taken from his kitchen table.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the consequences of the security breach "send a shiver down the spine".

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Portsmouth City Council boss accused of ‘stealing from dead’

Derek Offord is accused of helping himself to antiques, jewellery and other items worth tens of thousands of pounds while working for Portsmouth City Council.

A jury at Portsmouth Crown Court heard that the 59-year-old kept the property, which should have been handed to the authority.

In one case he allegedly made thousands of pounds by auctioning valuable stamp collections owned by David Bradley, 62, of Romsey Avenue, Milton, who had died of cancer.

Offord was suspended from his job and arrested when a junior employee, liaison officer Robyn Clark, turned whistleblower in June 2010.

Read the full story from the source The Portsmouth News

Read all articles about Portsmouth Council on this blog

Glasgow Councillor suspended over claims he misused disabled parking badge

A statement from the council's Labour group said: "Councillor Sohan Singh has been suspended from the Labour group for eight weeks and removed from the Board of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue with immediate effect.

"This follows an investigation into allegations of misuse of a blue badge.

"In line with the group's standing orders, Councillor Singh was found to have committed a serious breach of rules by failing to uphold the highest standards of integrity and probity expected of Labour councillors."

Mr Singh has accepted the ruling and apologised for the incident.

Read the full story from the source Evening Times

Ex-social services boss on sex abuse charges

A FORMER social services boss has been accused of sexually abusing a boy living in a children’s home more than 30 years ago.

Brian O’Leary, 65, worked in social work in the Midlands for four decades and ran Wolverhampton City Council’s adult social services until his recent retirement.

He is charged with two counts of gross indecency with a boy under 14 between June 9, 1977, and June 11, 1978.

Mr O’Leary is also charged with four counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 between June 9, 1978, and June 11, 1979, and between June 9, 1979, and June 11, 1980.

The 65-year-old is accused of a further charge relating to a boy aged under 16 between June 9, 1979, and June 11, 1980.

The case was sent to Worcester Crown Court.

Read the full story from the source Birmingham Mail

Friday, 12 October 2012

Medway Council benefits officer guilty of benefit fraud

A benefits officer has avoided jail after being caught by colleagues fraudulently claiming council tax discount after he posted on social media websites about his family.

Married father-of-two Jonathan Lincoln was exposed after he failed stringent ID and address checks for staff working in the benefits department of Medway Council.

Shocked colleagues found he had not only illegally claimed a 25 per cent council tax discount for living as a single person – despite living with his wife and family – but had also turned a blind eye to his wife Ellen Lincoln’s bogus income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit claims.

The judge, recorder Joshua Swirsky, sentenced him to a 16-week prison sentence suspended for one year, ordered him to carry out 150 hours community service and to pay £500 towards costs.

My comment: Yet another council officer abusing their position for financial gain.

Read the full story from the source Kent News

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Lewisham Council Housing officer jailed for fraud

A housing officer has been jailed after pleading guilty to fraud over four years which cost two councils more than £150,000.

Adeola Adenuga, 38, worked as a tenancy officer for Lewisham Homes, the arm’s-length management organisation for Lewisham Council. She pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud and obtaining property by deception and was sentenced last week.

When an elderly tenant, named only as Mrs W by the court, died in 2005, Ms Adenuga changed her tenancy agreement for a property in Catford into several other names, including that of her husband Paul Adenuga.

She then sub-let the property, paid the set rent to Lewisham Homes and pocketed the difference each week. Because the rent continued to be paid no alarm bells were triggered at the ALMO.

My comment: Yet another council officer abusing their position for financial gain.

Read the full story from the source Inside Housing

Tower Hamlets Council officer’s gravy train derailed

Two senior council officers are to pay back hundreds of pounds after claiming for first class train tickets to a conference just a two hour ride from their offices.

Childrens services director Isobel Cattermole and her deputy Anne Canning claimed £855 to attend a conference in Manchester in July, but are now having to repay the difference between the cost of the tickets and the cheapest available fare.

The climbdown follows sustained pressure from opposition figures, who claim the episode is symptomatic of the council’s attitude to the public purse.

“In instances where officers incur expenses in excess of the lowest available fare, they are duty bound to reimburse the council the outstanding balance”, a spokeswoman said. “This is exactly what has happened in the instance of the two officers cited.”

My comment: They should have been sacked for claiming more than they were allowed to in the first place not just asked to pay it back when caught.

Read the full story from the source Docklands and East London Advertiser

Read all articles about Tower Hamlets (LB) Council on this blog

Falmouth Town Council Finance officer admits £1,800 in false claims

A town council finance officer claimed more than £1,800 in bogus expenses claims off his employer because he felt "cruelly treated after his brother was stabbed in London".

Simon Polglase, of Halamanning, Goldsithney, near Penzance, was given an 18-week sentence suspended for 12 months at Truro Crown Court yesterday.

The 45-year-old pleaded guilty to falsely claiming £1,846 in travel expenses over a three-year period during his time as finance officer and deputy town clerk at Falmouth Town Council.

Recorder Paul Grumbar, sentencing, said: "People who pay their taxes and dues expect public servants in the town council to deal with their money.

"They don't expect to have it stolen by people like you and my view is that you have been absolutely disgraceful."

My comment: Another council officer abusing their position for financial gain.

Read the full story from the source This is Cornwall

Police officer exchanged emails about raping a colleague with paedophile

A policeman sent a sordid 'joke' to a paedophile about raping a colleague and provided the pervert with a 'shoulder to cry on' when he was on bail for sexual abuse, a court was told.

As well as befriending sex offender Robert Meade, Paul Woollard also used a police computer to run checks on him - and is now fighting to save his career at the High Court.

Wiltshire Chief Constable, Patrick Geenty, is adamant that Mr Woollard must be sacked and is challenging the 'bizarre' and 'irrational' decision of the Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) to order his reinstatement on the force and issue him with a final warning.

John Beggs QC, for Mr Geenty, told the court Mr Woollard had used his police email address to send Meade a series of explicitly-worded messages including one which read: 'Just waitin for the women to come and open up. I might rape her as theres noone else here (sic).'

Mr Justice Wyn Williams has now reserved his judgment on the Chief Constable’s appeal until a later date.

My comment: This is one of those 'you couldn't make it up' stories.

Read the full story from the source Mail On Line

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Councillor Chris Boothby Charged With Benefit Fraud

A Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council councillor has been charged with benefit fraud and will appear in court later this month.

Cllr Chris Boothby, who represents Ratby, Bagworth and Thornton on Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, is alleged to have claimed more than £1,500 in benefits, including jobseeker’s allowance, while working as a bus driver for Leicester City Council.

Cllr Boothby, from Ratby, is being prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who accuse him of claiming £949 in jobseeker’s allowance, as well as £560 in housing benefit, while still getting behind the wheel of a bus to work. It is also alleged that he was claiming unemployment benefit for his wife, Tina, while she was working in a pub in Markfield.

“Information received by the DWP indicated that Mr Boothby had been working part-time as a bus driver for Leicester City Council and his wife was working at the Plough Inn, Markfield.”

My comment: A Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council , a part time bus driver for Leicester City Council, unemployed and claiming housing benefit from (presumably) Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.....you couldn't make it up.

Read the full story from the source The Hinckley Times

Chief Constable guilty of gross misconduct

A chief constable is likely to be sacked today after a disciplinary panel found he committed gross misconduct.

Sean Price has been suspended from his job as head of Cleveland Police since he was arrested as part of a corruption probe last year.

Mr Price was arrested along with his deputy chief constable, Derek Bonnard, in an early morning raid in August last year as part of corruption probe Operation Sacristy.

Mr Bonnard has since been released from police bail by Warwickshire Police, who are carrying out a criminal investigation into the allegations.

The corruption probe is investigating 'people with current or past associations' with the police Authority.

Five people - Mr Price, Mr Bonnard, Mr McLuckie, former force solicitor Caroline Llewellyn and an unnamed individual - have so far been arrested.

My comment: This is not going to do the reputation of the Police much good.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Drink driving Surrey County Council Councillor

County councillor Stuart Macleod drank two pints of beer at a pub with friends before driving to collect his son from nursery on June 8.

He was pulled over by police and later fined and handed a 12 months driving ban by magistrates after refusing to take a second breath test at Woking Police Station.

He was charged and later convicted with refusal to provide a specimen after refusing a second test.

Richard Wilson, a Surrey Heath Labour supporter, said: "It is very disappointing that someone in a position of responsibility like a county councillor should break the law.

My comment: Drank 2 pints before collecting their son from a nursery, WTF.

Read the full story from the source Camberley People

Read all articles about Surrey County Council on this blog

Stoke on Trent City Councillor suspended

A LABOUR councillor has been suspended amid allegations of fraud.

Matt Fry, Stoke-on-Trent City Council member for Weston Coyney has been suspended from his post with immediate effect after a police investigation began.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: “We have received an allegation of fraud which we are currently investigating. “No one has been arrested at this stage.”

My comment: Waiting for the outcome of the police investigation.

Read the full story from the source This is Staffordshire

Read all articles about Stoke-on-Trent City Council on this blog

Kent County Council officer sacked for gross misconduct

Kent County Council has sacked an official for gross misconduct after an auditors’ inquiry into one of the authority’s limited companies.

The investigation focused on the activities of Kent on Canvas and was triggered by a member of the public who raised concerns about how it was operating.

The company was set up in 2008 and was among a string of trading operations established by KCC to make money for the authority.

Council auditors stepped in to examine the company following complaints and according to a report, uncovered evidence that a member of staff involved in selling its products had misappropriated funds, failed to declare interests and had “misrepresented facts concerning ownership and directorship.”

My comment: Not the first time member of staff from Kent County Council has been guilty of wrongdoing

Read the full story from the source Kent On-Line.

Read all articles about Kent County Council on this blog

Monday, 1 October 2012

Leeds City Council officer jailed for heir hunting scam

A rogue council officer has been jailed for abusing her position to make up to £160,000 moonlighting with her own heir hunting business.

Deborah Cook, 39, also stole the credit card belonging to a woman who had died without leaving a will and spent £17,000.

Cook was jailed for 16 months yesterday after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office, fraud and two offences of theft.

Leeds Crown Court heard Cook worked as a finance officer for Leeds City Council for 11 years and was responsible for dealing with cases of people who had died intestate and had no traceable next of kin.

My comment: A rogue council officer or just one of the very few that get caught?

Read the full story from the source Yorkshire Evening Post

Read all articles about Leeds City Council on this blog

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Rochdale abuse: Social services 'missed opportunities'

Social services and police "missed opportunities" to stop the sexual abuse of young girls in Rochdale, a report into a grooming scandal has revealed.

"Deficiencies" and "patchy" training of front line staff were behind the failings, the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board said in its review of child sexual exploitation.

Lawyers say the findings could support "legal action against social services".

Mr Danczuk, [Labour MP for Rochdale] who described the report as "limited", said it did not "give a voice to the victims [or] explain why social services had a culture of blaming the victims for the abuse".

My comment: A truly harrowing case but we all know it's not the first time the public sector have let people who complain down (a few examples  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] )  and it won't be the last.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Read all articles about Rochdale Borough Council on this blog

50 MET Police officers suspended for corruption

Nearly 50 Metropolitan Police officers have been suspended for corruption in three years, figures show.

Of the 258 officers suspended for offences also including sexual assault, neglect and assault, 38% of cases were proven and 11% of officers were sacked.

The officers were paid about £3.6m during their suspensions.

Shamik Dutta, a lawyer who handles complaints against police officers, said: "The figures are shocking.

My comment: Truly shocking figure indeed.

Read the full story and a breakdown of offences from the source BBC News

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Council refuses to discuss case of officer in drink-drive shame

DERBY City Council has refused to reveal whether it has sacked an officer found guilty of drink-drinking.

Ray Gibson's defence barrister told magistrates his client stood to lose his job as a community safety officer after being caught over the limit by police.

But when asked by the Derby Telegraph whether 62-year-old Gibson, of Spindletree Drive, Oakwood, had lost his job, the city council refused to answer.

My comment: It would be rather bizarre for a council to employ a community safety officer who has been found guilty of driving whilst under the influence. Not exactly a safe thing to do.

Read the full story from the source This is Derbyshire

Read all articles about Derby City Council on this blog

Friday, 14 September 2012

Bristol City Council manager stole £117,000

A council manager in charge of allocating money to improve disabled people’s homes stole more than £117,000 - to carry out DIY on his own house.

Stephen Parry, 57, was caught out using council funds when colleagues spotted that he was buying gardening equipment from B&Q for homes that didn’t have gardens.

Parry was jailed for 20 months at Bristol Crown Court for stealing a total of £117,000 from Bristol City Council to do up his £300,000 home in Wells, Somerset.

My comment: Was caught when colleagues spotted something amiss, where was the scrutiny from senior management and accounts?

Read the full story from the source Mail On-Line

Two female police officers sacked

Two female police officers have been sacked after a colleague recorded them having a conversation in which one likened black people to gorillas and monkeys. 

Special Constable Rosanna Garofalo and WPC Joanna Sugda were in the changing room at Islington Police Station in March when a colleague left an iPhone on record in her locker at work. 

According to the Metropolitan Police there have been 96 claims of racism by officers which have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) between April 1 and June 1 this year.

My comment: I agree with Commander Allan Gibson, of the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards, who said: 'There is no place for racist officers in the Met.'

Read the full story from the source Mail On-LIne

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Scotland Yard detective faces jail

Police officer pleads guilty to faking information in rape cases.

A former Scotland Yard detective faces jail after he admitted failing properly to investigate more than a dozen rape cases.

Ryan Coleman-Farrow, who worked in the Sapphire sex crimes unit, falsified paperwork, failed to submit forensic evidence and falsely told some alleged victims their cases had been dropped.
Yesterday, at Southwark Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to 13 charges of misconduct in a public office between January 2007 and September 2010.

My comment: I can't understand how he was allowed to get away with it for so long. Don't they have senior officers who are supposed to oversee what they do?

Read the full story from the source The Telegraph

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Allerdale council silent on corruption probe

UPDATED 28th August 2012: Allerdale council is reviewing its procedures after an investigation into alleged corruption. Update below initial post.

Council bosses have received a report into alleged corruption within Allerdale council but have refused to reveal its contents “at this stage”.

An independent investigation was launched last month following a complaint by a local businessman.

The results of the investigation are understood to be with Harry Dyke, the council’s chief executive.

An Allerdale council spokeswoman said: “We have received the report and are considering its contents with a view to determining what, if any, action to take. “We cannot divulge its content at this stage.”

The council has offered no explanation of why this information has not been made available despite several requests from the News & Star.

In March, Councillor Mark Fryer, portfolio holder for economic growth, called for a full and independent investigation into claims which, “if substantiated”, would be “very serious indeed.”

They included “totally inappropriate behaviour towards a local employer by one or more council officers which may amount to abuse of office for personal gain”.

My comment: Looks like a typical council cover up at the moment. Probably looking at damage limitation before the truth gets out.

Read the full story from the source News & Star

UPDATED 28th August 2012: Allerdale council is reviewing its procedures after an investigation into alleged corruption.

Chief executive Harry Dyke has confirmed that the report of an investigation, carried out after a complaint by a local businessman, had recommended a review of procedures and protocols.

The council would not reveal details of the report because it contained personal information.

“The information relates to identifiable individuals who we believe would not expect this information to be made publicly available.”

In March, Councillor Mark Fryer, portfolio holder for economic growth, called for a full and independent investigation into claims which, if substantiated, he said would be “very serious indeed”.

They included inappropriate behaviour towards a local employer by one or more council officers, he said. The claims, which centred on the business and conduct of the council across several departments, were investigated by the county council’s legal department at Allerdale council’s request.

My comment: Look like the investigation has revealed names which the council don't wish to publish. Still trying to minimise the fallout? No doubt if the Police get involved names will be released.

Read the full story from the source News & Star

Leader of Rugby Borough Council fined for driving with no insurance

THE leader of Rugby Borough Council has been fined and given points for driving with no insurance.

Craig Humphrey, 48, of Chaucer Road, Rugby, admitted the charge at Coventry Magistrates Court on August 1 and was sentenced on Thursday.

He was fined £200, given six penalty points and told to pay £80 costs and the £15 victim surcharge.

Driving with no insurance is a non-indictable offence and as such should not affect his position at the council.

My comment: It may be a non-indictable offence but it is a criminal offence and as such he should resign

Read the full story from the source Coventry Telegraph

Friday, 24 August 2012

Town Hall doors unlocked to social media and bloggers

New law changes to introduce greater openness and transparency in executive councils meetings will mean all decisions including those affecting budgets and local services will have to be taken in an open and public forum, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announced today.

The changes will result in greater public scrutiny. The existing media definition will be broadened to cover organisations that provide internet news thereby opening up councils to local online news outlets. Individual councillors will also have stronger rights to scrutinise the actions of their council.

Crucially councils will no longer be able to cite political advice as justification for closing a meeting to the public and press. In addition any intentional obstruction or refusal to supply certain documents could result in a fine for the individual concerned.

Eric Pickles said: "Every decision a council takes has a major impact on the lives of local people so it is crucial that whenever it takes a significant decision about local budgets that affect local communities whether it is in a full council meeting or in a unheard of sub-committee it has got to be taken in the full glare of all the press and any of the public.

My comment: Excellent news as long as local authorities don't attempt to circumvent the new laws as they have done with the FOI Act.

Read the full story from the source DCLG or The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 here

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Former North Yorkshire Police officer jailed for cancer lies

A FORMER police officer who lied about her daughter having cancer so she could take her to show jumping events has been jailed.

Rachel Hewitt, 39, who worked for North Yorkshire Police, claimed her teenage daughter was having chemotherapy for a tumour and had been critically ill in intensive care.

The force gave her compassionate leave, special shifts and colleagues even organised whip-rounds to buy the family gifts.

But her daughter was actually taking part in equestrian contests, which Hewitt, of South Elmsall in West Yorkshire, took her to "after telling a pack of lies", Hull Crown Court heard.

Jailing Hewitt for 18 months, the judge said she had shown an extreme breach of trust by spinning lie after lie for around two years before she was arrested last October.

My comment: Words fail me.

Read the full story from the source The Northern Echo

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Council leaks citizen data in hidden Excel sheets

A spreadsheet published by Islington Borough Council in response to an FOI request contained data on over 2,000 individuals in hidden tabs

Personal data on 2,376 citizens of the London Borough of Islington was published online after the council accidentally included it in its reposnse to a Freedom of Information Act request.

WhatDoTheyKnow.com makes FOI responses available to access over the web, so the data passed into the public domain.

It is the second data protection embarassment for the council this year, however. In April, 10 people facing a ban from a council estate for anti-social behaviour were given the names and addresses of the people who complained about them.

My comment: You just can't trust some councils with personal data.

Read the full story from the source Information Age

Read all articles about Islington Council (LB) on this blog

Council removes advertising over story it didn't like

A local authority withdrew advertising from a weekly newspaper because it published a story the council didn't like.

Carmarthenshire county council pulled an advert after the South Wales Guardian carried an article earlier this month in which traders in Ammanford raised concerns about delays caused by a regeneration scheme.

The council's press manager said in an email to the council's marketing department: "Due to the continuing negative publicity by the Guardian... I do not think we should be placing adverts with them until this issue is resolved."

Stanistreet said: "It is wholly unacceptable for a local authority or any other public body to withdraw advertising from a newspaper as a reaction to what it sees as negative publicity about itself.

My comments: This is a well known tactic used by many councils, whilst they like it when local papers publish their spin they hate it when anything negative (usually the truth) about them is published.  More on this subject here.

Read the full story from the source Guardian

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Local Government Ombudsman service panned by MPs

UPDATED 27th July 2012 Local Government Ombudsman risks becoming 'pickled in aspic

Updates below original post.

MPs have delivered a scathing assessment of the Local Government Ombudsman service (LGO), saying it must conduct its own activities “with credible effectiveness” before it can criticise others.

The body which decides whether council services are up to standard should "raise its own game significantly", a report by MPs suggests.

Read the full story from the source Local Government Chronicle

Also from the BBC

The Local Government Ombudsman takes too long to deal with some cases and has to prove its value to the taxpayer, the Local Government Committee says.

Otherwise it will "undermine its own role and credibility", it adds.The committee's chairman, Labour MP Clive Betts, said: "LGO has been taking far too long to determine some cases. One of the ombudsmen conceded that the delay in determining some cases was itself likely to amount to maladministration.

"This must raise questions about the LGO's authority and credibility. The organisation needs to apply strict deadlines to all the cases that it handles."

The committee found the LGO needed to provide a "clear methodology to measure levels of customer satisfaction and publish the results".

It added: "It must also put in place arrangements to ensure there is an annual evaluation of its own activities and decision-making by an independent external reviewer, to ensure the LGO is itself fair, effective, open, transparent and accountable."

This reviewer should be appointed by the end of this year and report for the first time no later than Easter 2013, it added.

The cross-party committee said: "An organisation whose primary job is investigating and determining whether maladministration by others has taken place must itself take care to avoid maladministration by delaying justice. If it does not, it will undermine its own role and credibility."

Read the full story from the source BBC

And Local Gov

MPs have urged the Local Government Ombudsman to improve its performance in providing redress for public complaints about local services.

Clive Betts, chair of the CLG Committee, also called on the LGO to develop a clear methodology to measure levels of customer satisfaction and publish the results every year.

Read the full story from the source Local Gov

My comment: Another overpaid, not fit for purpose quango, which should have been scrapped altogether.

UPDATED 27th July 2012 Local Government Ombudsman risks becoming 'pickled in aspic

The body tasked with examining maladministration is lethargic and cumbersome and must modernise

...if the ombudsman challenged more local authority decisions and took on more cases I believe we'd have better council services.

But is the ombudsman up to that job? According to the communities and local government select committee, of which I'm a member [MP Simon Danczuk],[ it faces a number of challenges to get in shape.

The ombudsman should be the champion of those dissatisfied with their council's service. Of course the public should go through council complaint procedures first, which should themselves be speedy and efficient. But if the issue is not resolved then the ombudsman should pick up the complaint and act with vigour.

Read the full story from the source Guardian

My comment: At last the truth is out, the LGO are not fit for purpose.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ex-councillor arrested

A FORMER councillor has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation just weeks after he met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Richard Vallery-Peters, who lost his Hastings Borough Council seat in May, was arrested at his home in Ashburnham Road on Monday morning.

The 47-year-old former Navy rating was quizzed by detectives and later released on police bail.

The Observer understands his arrest relates to the wearing of military medals.

Sussex Police spokesman Andy Freeman said: “On Monday morning, police arrested a 47-year-old man from Hastings.

“He was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He was given police bail until August 6th.”

My comment: Will have to wait for the outcome before commenting.

Read the full story from the source Hastings Observer

Councillor suspended

Councillor Daniel Sutherland appeared at Calderdale Magistrates Court on July 10 to face a charge of assault by beating against the woman.

The 23-year-old councillor, of Valley View, Halifax, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during the initial hearing at Calderdale Magistrates Court.

He pleaded not guilty to the incident that is alleged to have taken place after a party on June 24.

The case was adjourned for a trial at Bradford Magistrates Court on November 1, 2012.

A Calderdale Labour spokesperson said: “As soon as these serious allegations against Daniel Sutherland came to light his membership was suspended by the Labour Party with immediate effect.

My Comment: I will wait until the outcome of the trial before commenting.

Read the full story from the source Halifax Courier

Police Chief charged with perverting course of justice

A police chief and his wife were today [16th July 2012] charged with perverting the course of justice after she allegedly accepted speeding penalty points on his behalf.

Acting Deputy Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, Gordon Fraser, 48, was alleged to have been behind the wheel of a car when it was registered as going over the speed limit in Scotland.

His wife Teresa, 42, is accused of accepting the penalty points on his behalf and claiming she was behind the wheel.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service said today the incident was investigated by Hertfordshire Constabulary due to Fraser’s links to the Leicestershire force.

'A criminal complaint was made alleging that Mrs Fraser had accepted responsibility for a speeding offence allegedly committed by Mr Fraser on 29 September 2011 in Strathclyde,' she said.

'Having carefully considered all of the available evidence, we concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Mr and Mrs Fraser and therefore, authorised Hertfordshire Constabulary to charge them with doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.

My comment: Sounds a bit like the Chris Huhne case.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Inquiry into corruption at Allerdale council claim

An independent investigation into alleged corruption within Allerdale council has been launched following a complaint by a local businessman.

The claims are now being investigated by Cumbria County Council’s legal department and will involve interviews with several Allerdale council employees, with the results expected next month.

In March, Councillor Mark Fryer, portfolio holder for economic growth, called for a full and independent investigation into claims which, “if substantiated”, would be “very serious indeed”.

They included “totally inappropriate behaviour towards a local employer by one or more council officers which may amount to abuse of office for personal gain”.

My comment: Abuse of office for personal gain is not something another council should be investigating for them. The Police should investigate because it is, potentially, a criminal offence.

Read the full story from the source News & Star

Ex-councillor jailed for child porn offences

SHAMED former Wycombe district councillor Bob Bate has been jailed today for three years after confessing to possessing thousands of pornographic images of children and animals.

His Honour Judge Simon Davis, sitting at Amersham Law Courts, today described the images as “graphic, sordid and damaging”.

He told Bate, 62: “These are the worst images I have ever seen. I am sorry, I have never said that before. Both at the bar and the bench I have had the misfortune to be involved in this work.

The former Hazlemere Parish Council chairman, a Tory, who was living in Dudley after his arrest, admitted to 17 counts of making indecent photos of children last month.

My comment: At least he got jail time but it goes to show many councillors are not the upright citizens many people believe them to be.

Read the full story from the source Bucks Free Press

Grange-Over-Sands councillor censured for bullying

A GRANGE-OVER-SANDS councillor has been formally censured for bullying the town’s ex-deputy clerk and disrespecting its mayor.

Coun Frank McCall was found in breach of the council’s Code of Conduct by South Lakeland District Council’s standards hearing sub-committee.

It is the first time since February 2010 that SLDC has had to hold such a hearing.

My comment: The problem is once they gain office there isn't a lot that can be done to get rid of them when they do something like this. All they usually get is a minor slap on the hand.

Read the full story from the source The Westmorland Gazette

Friday, 22 June 2012

Wirral Council: How many more scandals must we have before council officers are sacked?

AN MP says he is "amazed" by claims that senior Wirral Council officers hid key information over the precarious financial state of a firm handed a major contract to repair West Kirby's marine lake.

Birkenhead's Frank Field has openly challenged Wirral Council's senior civil servants, asking: "How many more scandals must we have before officers are sacked?"

My comment: A large number of senior officers should have been sacked but appear to have got away with it. The question is why? Do they have something on the councillors?

Things are so bad there is even a petition to get the Government to take over the running of Wirral Borough Council

Read the full story from the source Wirral Globe

For more background info on the whole sorry saga browse some of my earlier posts about Wirral Council.

  
   
   
   
   
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Police disciplined after corruption probe were let off with a 'slap on the wrist'

DEVON and Cornwall Police officers disciplined in the wake of a corruption investigation into the leaking of confidential information to private detectives were let off with a "slap on the wrist", according to an MP.

Eleven police officers, five support staff, prison guards and benefits agency employees were among the suspects identified in a two-year police inquiry into illegal data checks.

Operation Reproof uncovered an alleged web of leaked information, from Devon and Cornwall officers, among others, to a network of private investigators.

It would lead to two further national investigations into the activities of private investigators selling information to members of the Press – a relationship being examined at the Leveson inquiry after the phone hacking scandal.

Devon and Cornwall's operation resulted in six men – two serving police officers, two former officers and two private investigators – being charged in 2004 although the case collapsed in the courts in 2006.

It can now be revealed that five police officers later faced internal disciplinary proceedings – with a written warning being the stiffest punishment meted out.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, who was instrumental in getting details of Operation Reproof heard at the Leveson inquiry, said: "It does seem odd that at the end of one of the most expensive and lengthy investigations carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police, in which they found evidence that was apparently strong enough to take to trial, that more severe action was not taken against the police officers involved. It appears to me to be little more than a slap on the wrist. I am seeking a meeting with the chief constable for his views and whether or not he is satisfied with the way the aftermath of the inquiry was handled."

My comment: That's what you get when a body is allowed to investigate it's own staff, whether that be the Police, a council or the government. 

Read the full story from the source This is Plymouth

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Leicestershire County Council leader David Parsons strongly censured over travel expenses

Coun Parsons was strongly censured on Tuesday for breaching the councillors' code of conduct over his travel expenses.

Coun Parsons appeared before the council's standards committee on Tuesday to face allegations he held on to money paid to him for trips to Europe, which he should have promptly paid back to the authority.

He offered an "unreserved apology" after Martin Caple, chairman of the county council's standards committee, said Coun Parsons had disregarded four key principles of public life – honesty, integrity, accountability and leadership.

One Tory councillor said: "There is a sense of despair among many of us who feel that anybody else other than Parsons would have stepped aside over this. "I do not think the group will have the courage to remove him, though."

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is difficult for a politician dogged by questions over how they have handled their expenses to maintain the trust of residents and lead a local authority.

My comment: I agree, no matter how good a leader he is if he can't handle his own expenses properly there is something seriously wrong. With  the LGA suggest he is one of the top 50 influential leaders in Local Government it's no wonder so many councillors try and fiddle their expenses.

Read the full story from the source This is Leicestershire

Read all articles about Leicester County Council on this blog

Friday, 15 June 2012

Holywell Town councillor jailed for claiming dead wife's benefits

Shamed town councillor Michael Mills has been jailed for nine weeks today after a court heard how he continued to claim his wife’s benefits after she died.

The retired miner carried on as normal and went to the Post Office every week to collect both his benefits and those of his dead wife. He used her pension card 110 times.

Mills got away with £21,357 but was caught thanks to an anonymous tip-off to DWP officials.

He admitted fraud charges and Flintshire magistrates, sitting at Mold, said they were extremely serious offences. He had defrauded the public purse out of a considerable amount of money when on his own admission he knew it was wrong.

Mills, 64, at the time a member of Holywell town council, had been in a 'zombie-type state' after making the traumatic decision to turn his wife’s life-support machine off. He could not come to terms with her death after a 44-year marriage, the court was told.

My comment: Funny how some MPs and councillors get away with defrauding the taxpayer but other go to jail.

Read the full story from the source Wales on Line

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Suspended sentence for police officer who made up statement

A police officer who fabricated a witness statement to cover up his own inadequacies has been given a one year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC told Gary Rodgers he was "not fit to serve as a police officer".

My comment: I think the judge sums it up quite well "not fit to serve as a police officer"

Read the full story from the source BBC

Read all articles about the Police on this blog.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Thanet councillor Mike Harrison suspended

Councillor Mike Harrison has been suspended from the Thanet Labour group for one month.

Councillor Clive Heart, leader of the Labour group on the council, said: "Following a thorough internal investigation of recent events leading to him receiving a letter of advice from the police, councillor Mike Harrison has been suspended from Thanet Labour group for one calendar month."

My comment: Looks like the leader of the Labour group doesn't believe he was fraped.

Read the full story from the source BBC

Background:  Councillor disciplined for dubbing rival a 'shirt-lifter'

Mike Harrison, a Labour member who represents the Newington ward on Thanet district council, criticised Independent councillor Ian Driver during a conversation on the social network.
Coun Harrison was warned by police that he could face arrest if he makes more comments against Coun Driver.

Horsham District councillor to be retrained after parking permit blunder

A Horsham District councillor found abusing his free parking permit has been sent for training after an inquiry by the council Standards Committee.

As reported exclusively in The County Times on March 15 2012, following an investigation by this newspaper, Andrew Dunlop (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) was found parking in the BT Exchange car park, North Street, Horsham, whilst on private business.

“The key principle underlying the terms and conditions upon which a member parking pass is issued is that public office and public resources should not be used to further purely private purposes.”

My comment: Sent for training? A member of the public would have been fined or accused of fraud for doing something similar. Why are elected representatives so keen to let off their fellow elected representatives? They should all be ashamed of themselves!

The three members of the sub committee decided that although there might be breaches of the Code of Members’ Conduct, they directed Mr Dunlop’s case not to be referred for a local investigation.

Might be breaches of the Code of Members' Conduct? Morons.

Read the full story from the source West Sussex County Times

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Former Waveney District councillor's stun gun offence

Further to my earlier post Shamed Waveney district councillor quits Tories - but will stay on council

Andrew Draper has now been warned he could be jailed after admitting illegally possessing a stun gun.

Draper, 38, of Martin Close, Carlton Colville, pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited weapon – an electrical incapacitation device – on November 4 when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

Yesterday’s court appearance follows Draper’s arrest and guilty plea to drink-driving and assaulting a police officer last August and a further court appearance last November when he was ordered to pay £500 in fines and compensation after admitting sending an offensive email to a police officer.

Draper, who was a councillor for Worlingham, had sent the email to a Norfolk police sergeant after she told him that his complaint against Suffolk Constabulary over the manner of his arrest for drink-driving would not be upheld.

In the email, which was described in court as “abusive and threatening”, Draper accused the female sergeant of being fat, unattractive and open to corruption. Draper, a self-employed residential landlord, was fined £250 and ordered to pay £250 compensation to the officer.

My comment: Some people never learn do they?

Read the full story from the source EDP24

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Kent County Council Officer jailed for fraud

Further to my previous posts on the subject

Kent County Council’s Head of Energy Procurement charged with fraud (31st October 2011)

Kent County Council energy chief allegedly embezzled more than £2million (21st March 2012)

A senior official has been sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding two million pounds from various local authorities. Ross Knowles was a high ranking manager at Kent County Council.

He was responsible for buying bulk gas and electricity. Kent County Council says the funds are currently being recovered and it has revised its controls to prevent something similar happening again.

View the video report from the source ITN News

Read all articles about Kent County Council on this blog

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Council officer sacked after asking contractor for bribe

Further to my earlier posts Edinburgh City Council official sacked in contracts probe and Edinburgh City council suspends five members of staff amid inquiry.

Another Edinburgh City Council officer has been sacked for trying to induce a bribe from a contractor.

It follows a £30 million local government probe into allegations of corruption, mismanagement and fraud.
The officer was caught asking a council repairs contractor for money towards a holiday, reports The Scotsman.

He asked the unnamed firm for a four-figure sum after the corruption probe began. The company, which did not hand over the money, raised the alarm with the council.

Police and external auditors have been investigating claims that employees from the local authority’s repair service for urgent work, the Property Conservation division, diverted building repair jobs to favoured contractors and accepted bribes.

So far this has led to the sackings of seven staff and the on-going suspension of another 13.

My comment: The problem is that in many cases the contractor would not raise the alarm so this sort of behaviour in many councils goes unreported.

Read the full story from the source The Construction Index

Read all articles about Edinburgh City Council on this blog

Friday, 27 April 2012

Senior Met Police officer suspended for racial abuse

A Metropolitan Police inspector was arrested on Tuesday after an incident in Barnet, North London when the off-duty officer apparently swore at an innocent bystander.

The officer has now been suspended from duty while the case is being investigated by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.

There are now 12 reports of racism involving 19 officers and a civilian worker under investigation by Scotland Yard and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

My comment: More bad news for the Met, it just keeps on getting worse.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Essex County Council expenses system had 'major flaws'

A report criticised the expenses system at Essex County Council when led by Lord Hanningfield, it has emerged.

An Audit Commission report, made public for the first time, expressed serious concerns about the system in 2009. It said there was a lack of control over corporate credit cards, gifts, hospitality and chauffeur-driven cars.

Lord Hanningfield was jailed over his parliamentary expenses last year. New rules are in place and the auditor said the council had improved.

The Audit Commission, which inspected the council in 2009, said there was no system to properly scrutinise or question expenses claims and that it was not always possible to establish if money had been spent appropriately and on council business.

The Conservative-controlled council also failed to promptly publish details of claims at the end of the financial year, which is required by law, the Audit Commission found.

My comment: He was jailed for his Parliamentary expenses so will he be jailed again for his Council expenses?

Read the full story from the source BBC

Read all articles about Essex County Council on this blog

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Gosport Borough Council fraudster behind bars for accounting scam

AN ACCOUNTANT who stole more than £300,000 from tax payers to fund a gambling habit has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Conway Warner was working as an accountancy officer for Gosport Borough Council when he carried out 17 fraudulent transactions which netted him a total of £307,810.15 over a nine-month period.

The fraud was not discovered until shortly after the 35-year-old took voluntary redundancy in June 2011.

Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘This was a long-term and fairly sophisticated fraud, it was a significant and gross breach of trust. Your job meant a high degree of trust was invested in you by your employers and you abused that.

‘What makes it worse is that you attempted to blame another colleague by using her details.

‘Gosport Borough Council is not a particularly large or rich authority and much of its area could be described as deprived.

‘This will have a significant effect on public confidence in local authorities.’

Gosport Borough Council’s leader, Cllr Mark Hook, said there was no loss to the public purse as the money was covered by insurance. But he added: ‘I hope this acts as a deterrent to anyone else in local authority public finance. We have put safeguards in place to ensure this never happens again.’

My comment: Where were the safeguards to stop it happening in the first place? 

Read the full story from the source The Portsmouth News

Monday, 26 March 2012

Ex-councillor denies child pornography charges

UPDATED 2nd April 2012: Below original post.

A former councillor had more than 18,000 extreme pornographic images on his computer when police, tipped off after his wife's alleged discovery of a magazine, raided his home, a court heard.

Art gallery owner Andrew Lamont, 53, who continued serving as a councillor in Norland ward after the raid, claimed the images showing bestiality and underage girls, were planted by his ex during their bitter divorce.

These are alleged to have included two images at level one, 34 at level two, 34 at level three, and 27 at level four - just one step away from the most serious possible.

Lamont has also denied nine counts of possessing extreme pornographic images - six involving animals and three involving serious injury.

My comment: We will have to wait and see what the outcome is.

Read the full story from the source Kensington & Chelsea Chronicle

UPDATED 2nd April 2012: Ex-councillor caught with indecent images of children is spared jail

AN EX-councillor caught downloading child porn walked free from court after a judge said he had ‘contributed’ to society.

Andrew Lamont, 53, copied 207 images of girls as young as eight to his computer, 27 of which were level four, the second most serious level.

Lamont, who served as a governor of St Anne’s Nursery School in North Kensington, also viewed thousands of extreme images involving animal porn stored on an Apple computer and hard disk drive, Isleworth Crown Court heard on Monday (April 2).

The former Conservative councillor for Norland ward, who is partially sighted, used software to magnify the pictures so he could look at them.

A jury of five women and seven men took six hours and 25 minutes to convict Lamont of four counts of downloading indecent images of children and four counts of possessing extreme pornography involving animals.

Sentencing Lamont to a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and fining him £20,000, Judge Andrew Johnson said: “Those who make photographs of children go to prison.

He was also ordered to pay £5,270 costs and must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

My comment: Guilty but what a stupid comment from a judge "You have also contributed to society by being in employment and public service." The fact he was the Governor of  a Nursery School  didn't mitigate the offences it made them worse.

Read the full story from the source Fulham Chronicle

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Kent County Council energy chief allegedly embezzled more than £2million

A council energy chief who allegedly embezzled more than £2million by cashing invoices into his personal account spent the money on expensive cars and luxury holidays, a court heard.

Ross Knowles, a 42-year-old boss at Kent County Council, is alleged to have siphoned off funds meant for big energy companies - which he used to buy a Jaguar car and trips abroad.

The respected 'golden boy' of his sector cashed in invoices for as much as £400,000-a-time into his own personal account, a court was told.

A jury heard that British Gas and NPower were two of the companies he defrauded, before being caught out.

Knowles, of Allington, Maidstone, denies two fraud charges. The trial continues.

My comment: Will wait for the judgement before making a comment.

Read the full story from the source Mail On-Line

Read all articles about Kent County Council on this blog

Friday, 16 March 2012

Former Broxtowe Borough Council leader charged with fraud

THE FORMER leader of Broxtowe Borough Council appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with benefit fraud.

In the short hearing Cllr Milan Radulovic – accused of a £45,000 benefit fraud – was told his case is too serious to be heard at Magistrates’ Court.

He will appear at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday March 30.

Cllr Radulovic stepped down from his position as leader when the allegations came to light.

My comment: Another council leader resigning when caught out to save his party from any embarrassment. 

Read the full story from the source Ilkeston Advertiser

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Former leader of Worcestershire County Council guilty of sexual assault

UPDATED 3rd April 2012: Ex-leader of Worcestershire County Council George Lord jailed for sexual assault. More below original article.

A disgraced ex-Tory council leader on Thursday admitted molesting a teenage girl more than 30 years ago and groping another junior member of staff in the town hall while he was in office.

Dr George Lord, 79, former head of Worcestershire County Council, assaulted the girl – aged either 14 or 15 – between 1977 and 1979 while he was a church preacher.

Lord, from Bromsgrove, Worcs., had already been convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old girl in the council chamber while he was leader in 2010.

Lord on Thursday pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault at Birmingham Crown Court.

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Jon Wallis, of West Mercia Police, said: “While these two cases were separated by many years, in both George Lord has abused a position of authority.

My comment: Every day we hear about another elected representative who is not fit for purpose and/or has abused their position.

Read the full story from the source News Today

UPDATED 3rd April 2012: Ex-leader of Worcestershire County Council George Lord jailed for sexual assault.

The former leader of Worcestershire County Council has been jailed for four years after sexually abusing a Sunday school pupil during the 1970s while he was a church minister.

George Lord also sexually assaulted a “vulnerable” teenager in the council chamber when he was leader of the county council.

He invited her to his office and then to the council chamber. However, he then became “over familiar” with the teenager asking her personal questions and kissing her. Lord then sexually assaulted her while she was examining a plaque in the chamber.

My comment: What an advert for Council Leaders.

Read the full story from the source Birmingham Post

Friday, 9 March 2012

MP Eric Joyce found guilty

MP Eric Joyce has been fined £3,000 and banned from pubs for three months after he admitted assaulting politicians in a House of Commons bar.

The Falkirk MP headbutted Conservative MP for Pudsey Stuart Andrew during a brawl at the Strangers' Bar.

He also hit Tory councillors Luke Mackenzie and Ben Maney, and Labour whip Phil Wilson, MP for Sedgefield.

After sentence at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Joyce said he intended to stay on as an MP.

My comment: Another not fit for purpose MP. I think it's about time they stopped referring to MPs as honourable.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Read all articles about MPs on this blog

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lying public service watchdogs

The quango [Care Quality Commission, CQC], which was established in 2009, is the official watchdog for health and social care services in England, including abortion clinics.

Yet in the three years since its creation, the CQC has faced sustained criticism over its performance.

Seven months into its existence, Baroness Young, the CQC’s chairman, resigned in December 2009 after Basildon Hospital in Essex was exposed for having filthy wards and a high death rate despite being rated as “good” by the regulator just a month before.

Cynthia Bower, the regulator’s chief executive, was appointed on a salary of £195,000 a year.

She ran West Midlands strategic health authority, which had oversight of Stafford hospital, where a long history of poor care caused hundreds of patients to die between 2005 and 2008.

In its annual report last year, the commission claimed it carried out 15,220 inspections and reviews in the year ending March 2011. It has now admitted that there were 7,368.

My comment: The above proves that the CQC, just like all the other pubic service watchdogs, lie to  government in their annual reports. The unanswered question is why the government allows public service watchdogs to lie to them, where is the scrutiny? Why no independent validation regarding the veracity of all public service watchdog reports?

Read the full story from the source Telegraph

UPDATE 23rd February 2012: NHS watchdog chief Cynthia Bower resigns.

The head of the NHS regulator for England, who has been the subject of mounting criticism over the watchdog's failure to adequately police hospitals and care homes, has resigned.

My comment: Not before time. The government should now persuade all our public sector watchdogs and ombudsmen to resign because none of them are fit for purpose.

Read the full story from the source Guardian

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