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Details released of outstanding charges against disgraced police chief
DETAILS of outstanding charges against disgraced former Chief Constable Sean Price have been released alongside the full adjudication of his sacking.
Mr Price, who was dismissed by Cleveland Police last month following a misconduct hearing held behind closed doors, has categorically denied the latest allegations.
He was sacked after two counts of gross misconduct were upheld - that he lied to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) about his involvement in a recruitment matter and that he instructed a member of staff to lie to the IPCC.
Last month IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long described Mr Price’s actions as ‘shameful’ after he was found to have bullied his assistant into lying for him.
The latest revelations were made on the day people went to the polls to elect Police and Crime Commissioners for forces across the country.
Cleveland Police Authority has issued details of 18 separate topic areas which had been investigated by the IPCC but the disgraced officer will never to face any of them.
Details of the six topic areas on today’s front page have been left vague by the police authority following legal advice as they are potentially linked to the ongoing criminal investigation Operation Sacristy.
The move was made after the police authority chairman Stuart Drummond promised to reveal other disciplinary matters Mr Price faced.
They have been revealed to include allegations that he:
• Obstructed a criminal investigation by refusing to provide access to information at some time in 2012.
• Did not follow the forces corporate credit card policy, failed to provide receipts at times, bought alcohol with it and spent money on items which were allegedly not appropriate from the public purse.
• Made trips abroad, the necessity of which was questioned by certain people.
• Failed to declare a personal interest in July 2009 by giving a reference to an officer he was in a relationship with for a post.
• Did not inform the Vetting Authority of changes to his personal circumstances in 2009.
• Provided false information to the media and public in October 2010.
• Failed to follow policy when he was involved in a collision while driving his force-owned vehicle in March 2009, by allegedly not reporting the incident or ensuring it was investigated.
• Following two separate incidents involving vehicle collisions that Mr Price was aware of, he allegedly failed to ensure that force procedures and policies were adhered to resulting in inappropriate and significant costs.
Mr Drummond said: “Following the dismissal of Sean Price, I made a commitment that the Authority would release as much information as is legally possible about other allegations that Mr Price faced.
“After careful consideration and consultation, the Authority has released further details about those allegations, as well as the Judgement delivered by the Chair of the Panel sitting at Mr Price’s disciplinary hearing, Joanna Greenberg QC.
“The public of Cleveland has a right to know what was being investigated and the complexity around it.
“Cleveland Police Authority is accountable to members of the public and it is absolutely essential that we demonstrate openness and transparency in this matter.
“It is important to remember that there is a misconduct hearing set for DCC Bonnard due to commence on November 20, and an IPCC independent investigation continues regarding allegations of potential misconduct by DCI Heather Price. Both officers remain suspended from work.
“Sean Price remains on police bail pending further enquiries in relation to the wider criminal investigation being carried out by Operation Sacristy and that investigation continues.
“Clearly there are a number of ongoing investigations and processes which must be allowed to run their course, it is entirely appropriate that this continues. The Authority would like to release further details but it would not be appropriate at this point. However, I anticipate in the fullness of time details will be made available.”
Mr Price, who has always maintained his innocence, issued a statement tonight (Thursday) saying: “I refer to the Police Authority’s recent release regarding the misconduct judgement against me, and further misconduct allegations I could have faced if still in office. I would wish to emphasize the following.
“I deny all of these allegations, and when interviewed provided a full explanation in relation to each of them. Had there been the opportunity for these matters to be properly examined by way of a hearing I would have sought to clear my name in relation to every allegation.
“It is important to note that when interviewed in June this year about these nineteen matters, I was assured by the Operation Sacristy investigation team that they did not regard any of the matters as criminal, and I was not interviewed under criminal caution.
“Indeed, since my arrest in August 2011 I have not been interviewed in relation to any criminal matters despite remaining on police bail.
“Finally I would like to stress once more that I deny any wrongdoing in the matters which led to my dismissal last month and am considering the legal options available to me.”