Deputy chief constable sacked for gross misconduct over misuse of funds and could be forced to repay £40,000 salary
The Daily Mail
If it isn’t politicians, its police chiefs fucking about with public money. The cunt got sacked… He should be in prison. Absolutely disgusting.
- Six counts of gross misconduct against Derek Bonnard were upheld
- He had been suspended by Cleveland Police during the investigation
- Bonnard found to have misused public funds and a force credit card
- He also cost the taxpayer £5,000 when he crashed a hire car
By STEVE NOLAN
PUBLISHED: 21:58, 25 March 2013 | UPDATED: 22:35, 25 March 2013
The deputy chief constable of a scandal-hit police force has been sacked for gross misconduct and could now be forced to repay his £40,000 salary after misusing public funds.
Derek Bonnard was sacked from his role at Cleveland Police force by an independent panel after six counts of gross misconduct against the officer were upheld.
Mr Bonnard had been suspended from duty while disciplinary proceedings were carried out.
In a catalogue of misconduct, Mr Bonnard was found to have deliberately obstructed a criminal investigation into corruption in the force, misused public funds as well as a force credit card, accepted inappropriate hospitality and acted improperly in a redundancy matter.
The former officer also cost the taxpayer more than £5,000 when he hired a vehicle ‘inappropriately’ and crashed it into a canopy at Cleveland Police headquarters in Middlesborough.
Derek Bonnard had been suspended by Cleveland Police pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.
His former boss, Sean Price, had become the first chief constable to be dismissed in 35 years when he was sacked in October last year.
The decision to sack Mr Bonnard was made by an independent panel after an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Police estimate that the hearing cost the public £500,000.
He had publicly said that he was innocent of any wrongdoing in May last year and pledged to repay his salary if he an investigation proved him wrong.
Despite the result of the hearing, Mr Bonnard said that he will launch an appeal in an attempt to ‘clear my name’.
Cleveland Police Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said today that the force will take action against Mr Bonnard if the money is not repaid.
She said: ‘He also described the investigation as highly expensive, recognising that it was funded by tax payers.
‘Quite clearly, he is not innocent of any wrongdoing, and he has succeeded in delaying his misconduct hearing, which has incurred additional cost for the tax payer.
‘Mr Bonnard’s actions were reflective of the culture at the top of the organisation at that time, and measures have been put in place to ensure that this type of behaviour is not repeated.
‘Throughout the investigation and the disciplinary process he has sought to blame others for his own actions and behaviours.
‘He has let himself down, he has let Cleveland Police down but most importantly, he has let the people of Cleveland down.
‘The Force deserves much better from one of its most senior officers.
‘I am disappointed that he has at no stage of the process attempted to take any responsibility for his actions or show any concern for how much this has cost the public of Cleveland.
‘If he had admitted his misconduct earlier, he would have saved the taxpayer a significant amount of money.
‘Derek Bonnard made a commitment through his legal team in the High Court that should he be dismissed following this hearing, he would pay back the salary he has received since November 2012.
‘This amounts to over £40,000. If this is not forthcoming, action will be taken to recover this money.’
Mr Bonnard said he planned to appeal the decision after being treated ‘appallingly’.
In the last 18 months the force has made numerous policy changes to prevent further corruption such as that investigated by Operation Sacristy.
The steps include reducing the number of corporate credit cards from 71 to 46 and updating the policy for their use.
It has also changed its guidelines on gifts and hospitality and set up an Integrity and Transparency Board.
The force said one matter of potential gross misconduct for Mr Bonnard has been deferred pending the outcome of the wider criminal investigation ongoing by Operation Sacristy.
As Mr Bonnard is no longer a serving police officer, he is not subject to any further police disciplinary processes, the force statement said.
He had faced a seventh charge that he had acted contrary to Cleveland Police policy in the purchase of a vehicle provided to him by the Police Authority, a claim that the IPCC said was not proven.
IPCC commissioner Nicholas Long said: ‘Senior police officers are expected to lead by example and adhere to principles including accountability, honesty and integrity.
‘Mr Bonnard demonstrated a flagrant disregard for those principles.
‘The evidence showed he used public money as if it was his own and appears to have taken whatever opportunities he could to benefit himself.
‘He was a public servant who forgot about the public he was appointed to serve.
‘Mr Bonnard’s dismissal follows that of former chief constable Sean Price and brings to an end a sorry further chapter for the Cleveland Police.
‘The two most senior police officers in the force have had their careers unceremoniously ended because of their individual failings.
‘Events of the past two years can only have diminished public confidence in the force.
‘I hope the conclusion of these disciplinary matters can act as a salutary reminder to all senior police officers that their role is to ensure the communities they serve are protected from crime and that they must be public servants beyond reproach.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299015/Derek-Bonnard-Deputy-chief-constable-sacked-gross-misconduct-misuse-funds-forced-repay-40-000-salary.html#ixzz2OcdqsuzF
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