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Council bosses receive £300,000 to ‘bring matters to close’ after pay scandal

Council heads at Caerphilly County Borough Council have received a payout of almost £300,000 following allegations of misconduct.

In a Full Council meeting yesterday, it was agreed that deputy chief executive, Nigel Barnett, and head of legal services, Dan Perkins would cease to be employed by the council as of 31 October 2017.

The two council heads have been the centre of an investigation around alleged illegal pay rises.

In 2013 they, along with chief executive Anthony O’Sulivan, were arrested on suspicion of fraud and suspended from the council on full pay.

All charges against them were subsequently dropped.

The council has said that a financial settlement has been agreed as compensation for their loss of employment and “on condition that this brings matters to a close.”

Barnett received a payment of £171,000 and Perkins has received £127,000 - figures which the council say are much less than the cost of continuing the disciplinary investigation, which could have taken a further 12 months.

In a statement issued following the meeting, a spokesperson for the council explained: “The council does not have the ability to deal with cases such as this as it would in other situations because these officers were subject to statutory protection conferred by legislation and the matter could only be dealt with by appointing a Designated Independent Person as required by the relevant law.

“We would like to make clear that they have fully cooperated with the council during a lengthy preliminary investigation.

“We would particularly like to remind everyone that the criminal charges which had been brought against them, and which have been so heavily publicised, were dismissed by the court and that it would be wrong for any suspicion or stigma attached to that process to remain in anyone's mind. 

“We sincerely wish both of them well for the future.”

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