A FORMER education chief who retired after a week's work with a pay-off believed to be worth £330,000 has found a new job.
Opposition councillors put motions to Cheshire County Council last October, condemning the appointment of Jim Crook to the new role of director of children's services as a waste of public money.
Mr Crook went on sick leave a week after his appointment on July 1 last year.
But he is now back in work in an almost identical role at Coventry City Council as an interim director of Children, Young People and Learning.
Mr Crook is employed as a consultant of Leeds-based Tribal Resourcing, a firm also used by Cheshire County Council.
He could not be contacted by The Chronicle this week because he is on holiday.
News of Mr Crook's job in Coventry came as a shock to one taxpayer, who tipped off The Chronicle, saying: 'I believe Cheshire people deserve better than this waste of resources.'
His ill-fated spell at County Hall came as a shock to Coventry's member for children's services, Cllr John Blun-dell.
Cllr Blundell said he had believed Mr Crook's previous job was with the City of York Council - his employer before moving to Chester.
'It's obviously worrying and I will be asking questions,' said Cllr Blundell.
'I'm sure we're paying him a significant amount commensurate with the job, perhaps £700-£800 a day of which Tribal would take a cut.'
Cllr Blundell's Cheshire counterpart, Conservative councillor David Rowlands, said the parting of ways with Mr Crook had been 'mutual' adding: I can understand the taxpayers' view but nobody could have predicted his becoming ill.'
He added: 'I don't regret his appointment or have any strong feelings about his new appointment which I don't think is cause for any extra grievance on the part of taxpayers.'
Labour group leader Cllr Derek Bateman said: 'The council parted company with Mr Crook in a very expensive settlement worth about £330,000, but you would think Coventry would have appointed him knowing his history.
'We thought at the time he might not work again but there was no certainty, I guessed he might do something.'
A Cheshire County Council spokesman said: 'Although Mr Crook had made a full recovery he decided upon early retirement.
'The council regretted those circumstances and expressed its support for Mr Crook in whatever future activities he chose to pursue.'