Three cases of wrong-doing by Cheshire West and Chester Council staff were revealed in a Freedom of Information request about corruption.
The authority’s response shows all three cases were upheld in 2012, but police were not notified and there were no convictions. The officials have not been identified, but none of them is still employed by the council.
The authority has only offered brief details about the nature of the allegations, but says two cases related to ‘relationship with contractor/delivery of goods and services’. In these cases, both brought to light by managers, the staff concerned left the authority before investigations could be completed.
In a third case, concerning ‘breach of gifts and hospitality’, an investigation was carried out after concerns were raised through the authority’s contact centre and the staff member was disciplined and has subsequently left. The council revealed the departments in which the council officers worked but for legal reasons The Chronicle has decided not to publish this information.
The original Freedom of Information request asked how many cases of corruption had been upheld in the authority and was followed by subsequent requests asking for more detail including the investigation reports, minus the employee names if necessary.
But the council, while admitting investigations took place, would neither confirm nor deny the existence of reports arising from those investigations as to do so ‘would cause the employee damage and distress’.
Council spokesman Ian Callister said: “Three low level cases involving breach of the staff code of conduct were investigated by this authority between April-October 2012. In two cases, the staff left the authority before the investigation was completed. In a third, the subject of the investigation was disciplined and has subsequently left.
“It is important to stress the word “corruption” is a collective heading used to report a variety of offences, many of which bear no resemblance to the generally perceived meaning of the word.”