Peterlee councillor is suing her own council

Peterlee Town Council offices.

Peterlee Town Council offices.

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A Peterlee town councillor says she 'looking forward to having my day in court' after launching legal action against the authority.

Mandy Thompson is taking legal action against the council for personal injury, claiming she has suffered from 'harassment and misfeasance in public office' and her human rights have been breached.

The action is the latest development in an ongoing row at the council which has already seen town clerk Jane Russell threaten to take the council to an industrial tribunal over claims she was bullied by councillors, including Coun Thompson.

The case was settled in November, shortly before a hearing was due to go ahead, and was reported to have cost the authority £200,000 to settle and facing a further £100,000 bill for legal costs.

Passfield ward member Coun Thompson said the decision to settle ahead of a hearing meant she had not had a chance to put her side of the story.

"I am looking forward to having my day in court, when I can have my account heard," she said.
"I am not after money for myself – I don;t even claim my participation allowance that every councillor gets.

“I don't agree with it – I think people should do this because they want to do something for the community.

“Mine goes to the charity trust, who forward it to the charities I want it to go to.
"This is not about money for me - it is about clearing my name and proving I did things by the book.

"The police have been very helpful and I would like to thank them for all they are doing to help me with this harassment in the community."

A council spokeswoman said the authority was unable to comment.

A Durham police spokesman confirmed the force had received reports of harassment from a Peterlee woman and was investigating.