Another Cleveland Police Chief Constable’s career has ended in disgrace after he was found to have made inappropriate sexual comments to senior officers.

Mike Veale resigned from the force in 2019 when the allegations first came to light but after a four-year investigation, he has now been found guilty of gross misconduct for making sexual comments.

The 57-year-old was accused of telling a female colleague to ‘go on you can touch yourself’ after reading out a complimentary email while travelling to a meeting.

He was also accused of say ‘these two are bedfellows metaphorically or otherwise’ before laughing when talking about two officers in front of other senior colleagues.

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Sara Fenoughty, the legally qualified chair of the tribunal, said she believed the evidence of the two senior colleagues, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and said the allegations had been proved.

Dijen Basu KC, representing Cleveland’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, had told the misconduct hearing how the ex-chief constable had made the first inappropriate comment while he was travelling to a meeting and glanced at the woman’s lap after reading the email aloud and said ‘go on you can touch yourself’.

The Northern Echo: Ex-Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike VealeEx-Cleveland Police Chief Constable Mike Veale

The second allegation related to a meeting at Norfolk Constabulary on December 4, 2018, when he made a comment about two colleagues while in the presence of senior staff.

An officer, known as Witness C, said his ex-boss said ‘these two are bedfellows metaphorically or otherwise’ before laughing when talking about the two officers in front of other senior colleagues.

The ex-Cleveland Police stepped down from his role in January 2019.

During his evidence, he accepted that his language and humour may have caused offence but was adamant that he had never made any inappropriate sexual comments during his ten-month tenure.

Representations will be made by both parties before they rule whether his behaviour amounts to misconduct or gross misconduct.

The panel will then send its findings to the current PCC, Steve Turner, who will decide on what sanctions, if any, are to be imposed.

The Northern Echo: Cleveland PCC Steve TurnerCleveland PCC Steve Turner

This is not the first time that the ex-senior officer has been embroiled in controversy.

Before he was chief constable of Cleveland Police, Mr Veale led an inquiry into sexual allegations against the late prime minister Sir Edward Heath when he was in charge of Wiltshire Police.

The former top cop was previously investigated after he was accused of smashing a mobile phone while playing golf in an attempt to destroy evidence.

A previous chief constable, Sean Price, was found to have committed gross misconduct.

In October 2012, the force’s then-beleaguered chief was told his behaviour was "shameful" following a misconduct hearing.

He had been the subject of disciplinary action over allegations relating to the recruitment of the daughter of the former chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, Dave McLuckie.

The hearing found it proven that Mr Price had asked a member of staff to enquire about a job for an individual, had denied doing so when investigated by the IPCC and had then directed the member of staff to lie to the IPCC about the matter in an attempt to mislead the investigation.

The panel decided the proven matters individually and collectively amounted to gross misconduct and recommended to Cleveland Police Authority that Mr Price be dismissed with immediate effect.

The panel found it not proven that Mr Price had directed that a job be found for an individual.