Police chief will be quizzed in April

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 February 2015

Nick Gargan

Nick Gargan

Archant

A POLICE boss suspended on full pay from his £150,000-a-year job is due to be quizzed about his alleged gross misconduct at a hearing in April – nearly a year after accusations first surfaced.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended in May last year after being accused of making inappropriate advances to female staff.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

While being scrutinised by the police watchdog, Mr Gargan faced a criminal investigation to establish if he had also breached the Data Protection Act, but the IPCC ruled Mr Gargan did not commit any criminal offences.

The IPCC referred the case back to Ms Mountstevens, who called an internal inquiry to decide whether Mr Gargan can keep his job.

She says one reason for delays was a request from Mr Gargan for an extension to the deadline for his formal response.

Ms Mountstevens said: “It does seem to have taken a long time to get to this point but as many of you will know, the disciplinary process is set out under police conduct regulations. These are very prescriptive in terms of both the arrangements for the hearing and the procedure to be followed in readiness for the hearing.

“I’m sure you’ll agree it’s important we follow the process and get it right.”

The hearing will begin on April 20 and is scheduled to last five days.

It will be heard by an independent panel chaired by a legal representative from the Queen’s Counsel, joined by an independent person from outside the force area and a police inspector.

The panel will decide whether allegations are proven and what sanctions to recommend. Its findings will be released once a decision is made.


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