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Liverpool mayor grilled by police under caution over fraud probe

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has been questioned by police under caution in relation to an ongoing fraud investigation.

Lancashire Constabulary is thought to have quizzed the mayor towards the end of last year, specifically as part of an inquiry surrounding the joint venture between BT and Lancashire County Council, which saw the council’s CEO arrested last year.

Ged Fitzgerald was suspended from the position after his arrest in relation to financial problems found in the contracts used between the council and BT.

The telecoms giant worked with Lancashire CC on One Connect and Liverpool Direct BT, the latter of which was under investigation due to financial irregularities.

In addition to Fitzgerald, both Phil Halsall, CEO at Lancashire CC, and David McElhinney, who ran both the joint venture organisations, were also arrested in relation to the ongoing investigations. All three remain on bail.

While it was previously known that the mayor had corresponded with investigators, this is the first time it has been confirmed that such interviews were conducted under police caution, meaning there could be some suspicion of offences committed by Anderson.

In a statement, he said: “From the outset of this investigation, as mayor, I have made it clear that Liverpool City Council, its officers and members will cooperate fully with Lancashire Police in their enquiries.

“Further to that commitment a number of people have been voluntarily interviewed. I have met the police on several occasions and one of those was voluntarily under caution which I positively wanted to attend to evidence my full cooperation and assistance in their enquiries.

“All individuals approached at the council have been encouraged to cooperate fully with Lancashire Police and many others have also been interviewed voluntarily under caution.”

Anderson went on to confirm that the city council was working closely with police and providing administrative assistance in their investigation, as well as conducting its own internal inquiries.

While Fitzgerald, who was CEO at the county council before moving to Liverpool, stepped down from his chief executive position last year, the council took no internal action against him at the time and did not suspend him.

Top image: Civil Service, Richard Williams photographer

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Zedman   05/02/2018 at 11:09

Nothing ever changes, nod, nod, wink, wink! Is it any wonder the voters don't turn out anymore.

Audrey O'keefe   16/02/2018 at 22:46

Anderson said he and his officer were fully cooperative with the Police...... ''of course'' the putrid smell of corruption permeates around the city.......

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