A LARGER than life character, Dave McLuckie, fell from grace when he was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice in 2013 - despite proclaiming himself as the ‘sheriff’ of Cleveland.

Convicted after a week-long trial at Newcastle Crown Court he said the verdict had "destroyed everything" he had built up in his public life.

His political career collapsed when he was found guilty of persuading friend Maurice Ward to take speeding points on his behalf to avoid being banned in 2005.

During the trial it was revealed that as chairman of Cleveland Police Authority he described himself as the ‘sheriff’ and referred to the force’s officers as his deputies.

Always voluble and straight-talking, Mr McLuckie was an imposing figure on Redcar and Cleveland Borough councillor and as chairman of Cleveland Police Authority (CPA).

Documents seen by The Northern Echo showed that while he was the chairman of governors at Skelton Primary he failed to declare a relationship to someone interviewed for a post at the east Cleveland school.

As a result, he was investigated by the now defunct Standards Board for England but no further action was taken.

While he was the CPA chairman former Chief Constable Sean Price received a significant pay package when members unwittingly authorised a ‘golden handcuffs’ deal for the officer when legal advice was withheld from them, documents have shown.

Mr Price was sacked in 2012 for gross misconduct after being found guilty of lying about his role in the recruitment of Mr McLuckie's daughter, and of directing a member of staff to lie during investigations into the claim.

And it was Mr McLuckie’s arrest as part of Operation Sacristy, an investigation into alleged corruption at Cleveland Police, which resulted in him stepping down as CPA chairman.

At the time, police authority member Barry Coppinger, his is now Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, reacted angrily to his long-tine colleague’s decision.

He said: "I'm absolutely furious that Dave McLuckie, Cleveland Police Authority's most successful chairman, has tendered his resignation."

Throughout the 41-month long investigation, Mr McLuckie categorically denied any wrongdoing and the multi-million probe resulted in no prosecutions when the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence of criminal activity.

And after the CPS decided not to charge any of the nine people arrested during the investigation, Mr McLuckie branded Operation Sacristy a ‘witch hunt’.

He said: “The real disgrace would be if those who have pursued what I firmly believe was a witch-hunt against myself and others escape scot-free whilst we will have to live with the consequences for ever—and the public will have to meet the scandalous costs.”

However, it was during the Operation Sacristy investigation that paperwork was discovered in a locked drawer that revealed how an allegation of sex abuse was made against Mr McLuckie in 2006.

Documents seen by The Northern Echo showed that two high-level meetings were called in December 2014 to discuss the claim and look at what action was taken by the then Chief Constable Sean Price.

The report shows that concern was raised that the allegation had not been recorded on the police force computer system as a crime and the Independent Police Complaints Commission was brought in to examine the allegations.

Mr McLuckie from the outset had dismissed the claim as "false and malicious", saying it was based on a personal grievance.

When contacted by The Northern Echo about the allegations he said: “In 2006 I was made aware by Redcar and Cleveland Council of a claim made in relation to a period when I was a child aged 14. I made it clear that I completely denied the claim.”