HARTLEPOOL Mayor Stuart Drummond has taken over the reins as the chairman of Cleveland Police Authority after its head suddenly resigned over a potential conflict of interest.
Mayor Drummond, who had been the vice chairman of the police authority, will hold the position of acting chairman until a new chairman is found.
It comes after chairman Peter Race’s shock resignation.
Mayor Drummond said: “Peter stepped up into the position of chairman in May under very difficult circumstances and the last few months have been very demanding.
“His leadership has been key to bringing stability to the organisation and dealing with the many challenges that face Cleveland Police, in particular the struggle to balance the budget whilst at the same time maintaining front-line services.
“The knowledge, experience and wisdom that Peter brought the authority will be missed greatly.
“However I am committed to take the authority forward and ensuring that the standard of policing in Cleveland is maintained at the very highest level.”
In his resignation letter to authority chief executive Stuart Pudney, Mr Race said: “Following a recent meeting between the authority, HMIC and the Head of Operation Sacristy, I have become aware of what could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest for me if I were to continue in my role as chair or a member of CPA.
“Therefore I have decided that I should stand down from the authority with immediate effect.”
The police authority, which holds Cleveland Police to account and oversees services, will meet soon to appoint a replacement.
Mr Pudney said: “It is very important that the authority meet at the earliest possible opportunity to appoint a new chairman and I shall be consulting members to begin to take arrangements forward.
“On behalf of the authority I would like to thank Peter for his work as a member of the authority.”