Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another half a million pounds...plus costs.

Today, in the Northern Echo, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council were shown up again. In 2005/06 the Scanlon Tribunal report showed that Pauline Scanlon had been harrassed, bullied and intimidated and then unfairly dismissed by the now ex-CEO Colin Moore and the now ex-finance officer Ray Richardson. Despite these two men being found to have changed their evidence to the tribunal overnight, guilty of sharp practise, and being deliberately disingenuous and despite the leader of the opposition calling for Moore in particular to be investigated, neither of them were investigated or sacked.

The council, since that decision was made, have continually wasted tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money, appealing the decision when they have had no chance of ever winning it. Today, the decision is final and Pauline Scanlon has been awarded nearly half a million pounds.

This councils ineptitude aswell as its dishonesty is now, once again, there for all to see. As a result of this even more questions have to be answered. Why were Moore and Richardson never investigated and sacked? Why were they allowed to slip out of the backdoor with glowing references from the very man who had called for Moores investigation and huge payoffs running into hundreds of thousands of pounds? The un-named council spokesman said that this was all a long time ago and a new CEO was in place now blah de blah, but if it was all so long ago then why have the council continually appealed against the decision and why were councilors still defending Moore at a FOI tribunal that I called for and which took place three weeks ago?

The fact that the council have kept appealing the decision is in itself a contradiction when the leader of the council was so outraged by it that he called for Moores investigation? Why would the leader authorise each appeal and spend huge sums of public money doing so, when he knew that Moore had behaved so badly and that the council were so wrong? Or was it that he kept on appealing until enough time had passed that a council spokesman could quite easily say "That was all a long time ago"?

But if it was all such a long time ago, why did Councilor Peter Scott, at an FOI tribunal in Newcastle three weeks ago, knowing how despicably and dishonestly Moore had behaved, describe Colin Moore an "an honest man"?

Why are this council still defending the ex -CEO when his investigation was called for twice and when he was openly found to be sharp practising, evidence changing and deliberately disingenuous? Why was he rewarded with glowing references and a huge pay off instead of no references and the sack?

But the biggest question of all is if this council are paying nearly half a million pounds to an ex emplyee who used to be in a £25,000 per year job in the council, then how much did they pay the assistant Chief Executive who was due to go to tribunal in May this year, who's case would have exposed the whole dirty truth about this council, who had called John Wilkinson and I as witnesses, but who settled out of court just the week before our film "Coatham, a common concern" was shown in parliament?

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