Officers to face more allegations

Sean Price  (righ)t and Derek Bonnard
Sean Price (righ)t and Derek Bonnard

A CHIEF constable and his deputy are to face misconduct hearings over their alleged misuse of public funds and force credit cards.

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Sean Price and Deputy Chief Constable Derek Bonnard were investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into conduct allegations.

A further accusation has also emerged which says Chief Con Price failed to report a police officer – who has since been suspended from the force – being arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Northallerton on April 4 last year, despite being aware of the matter.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “We cannot comment on this latest accusation except to say that the officer concerned has been suspended.”

The investigation, which looked at a range of allegations including matters relating to the alleged misuse of public funds and the misuse of corporate credit cards, has resulted in a decision that both officers will face a misconduct hearing.

The findings from the inquiry were passed to Cleveland Police Authority’s professional standards sub-committee on Monday this week to consider the report.

It has responded by agreeing with the investigator’s recommendations that both officers have a case to answer for gross misconduct and should face a hearing.

The IPCC has agreed that Chief Con Price has a case to answer in relation to 18 matters, 11 of which will be referred to a misconduct hearing, and seven will be deferred pending the outcome of the wider criminal investigation ongoing by Operation Sacristy.

Det Chf Con Bonnard will face eight matters, six of which will be referred to a misconduct hearing and two will be deferred.

The Crown Prosecution Service also looked at the case and concluded there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.

This IPCC investigation was separate to the continuing Operation Sacristy into allegations against Mr Price, Det Chf Con Bonnard and others with links to Cleveland Police Authority.

The two misconduct hearings will be run separately and it is hoped that hearings will start within the next two months.

Both Mr Price and Det Chf Con Bonnard, who have strenuously denied any wrongdoing throughout the investigations, remain suspended.