Suffolk extends Andrea Hill's absence amid concern over expenses
Suffolk CC has confirmed that its controversial chief executive, Andrea Hill, will remain on extended leave from the authority pending the results of a new inquiry into her expenses claims.
The dramatic new twist in the ongoing saga in Suffolk followed a meeting of a local disciplinary committee today, at which lawyers presented senior politicians with the initial findings of their inquiry into recent whistle-blowing allegations.
Suffolk's Dismissals Appeals Committee met this morning (3 June) to consider a report into allegations of a 'poisonous' culture within the county hall - sent to senior politicians by an anonymous source following the apparent suicide of Suffolk’s former interim head of legal services, David White, in April.
Immediately after the meeting, it was revealed Ms Hill's extended leave from the county would continue pending further investigations into some of the allegations – and a new, additional inquiry into information that came to light following Freedom of Information requests recently submitted to Suffolk.
Ms Hill had been on extended leave from work, a voluntary arrangement, while lawyers from Wragge and Co investigated the content of a letter sent to councillors by the anonymous source – believed to be a staff member.
The letter, seen by The MJ, makes a number of serious allegations against more than one senior member of staff at Suffolk.
Earlier this week, sources at Suffolk CC said that despite the title of the committee that convened to consider the report by Wragge and Co, there was no prior intention to dismiss Ms Hill from her post.
Following the meeting on 3 June, a spokesman for Suffolk CC said: 'The Dismissals Appeals Committee today received a preliminary report into whistle blowing allegations made against Andrea Hill. The committee was able to resolve some of the allegations however it felt that a number required further investigation.
'In addition as a result of FOI requests into expense claims by Andrea Hill the committee has asked the investigation team to review those claims. The findings of the team will be reported to the committee at their next meeting on June 24. Andrea Hill will remain on extended leave by mutual consent until that date.
'Suffolk County Council is anxious that all investigations are completed and resolved as soon as possible in the interests of all those involved.'
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