A SENIOR finance officer at Cleveland Police has been suspended over an alleged misuse of thousands of pounds of public funds.
Cleveland Police have confirmed it has suspended assistant chief officer (finance and commissioning) Ann Hall.
It follows an allegation of potential misconduct relating to the misuse of public funds between July 2010 and October 2011.
This matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) last week and it is independently investigating the allegation.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said Mrs Hall, who is responsible for finance and commissioning, is the subject of an allegation that unauthorised payments amounting to thousands of pounds have been made to an executive coaching company.
The decision was taken today to suspend Mrs Hall from her post.
Police say it should be emphasised that suspension is a neutral act and it should not be inferred from the decision to suspend that any potential misconduct matters have been proven.
In addition and separate to the IPCC enquiry, the force are undertaking an investigation via an independent investigator into matters referred to Cleveland Police by Operation Sacristy concerning Mrs Hall.
Bosses say the focus of the force will remain on operational policing and protecting and serving the communities of Cleveland.
IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “Any allegations of misuse of public funds is serious and must be investigated.
“Given the recent history of Cleveland Police and the investigations into former Chief Constable Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard, I can appreciate that news of this investigation may cause some concern among the public.
“I can assure them this investigation will be thorough and conducted as quickly as possible.”