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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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