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Liverpool council chief suspended following fraud investigation

Friday 13th October, 2017

The chief executive of Liverpool city council has been suspended on full pay five months after he was arrested as part of a fraud investigation.

The Guardian reports that Ged Fitzgerald was arrested in May by police investigating alleged financial irregularities at Lancashire county council when he was in charge there.

A council spokesman said Fitzgerald would continue to receive his full £200,000 a year salary while an independent investigation was carried out.

Lancashire police launched an investigation in 2013 into allegations of fraud over a £5m contract with One Connect Ltd, a joint venture between Lancashire county council and BT to run some services.

The deal was agreed by the then Conservative-led administration, whose leader, Geoff Driver, was also arrested on 22 May. It was later cancelled by a Labour-controlled administration.

In January Lancashire’s police and crime and commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, said the investigation had cost £2m to date and 22 police officers were working on it. Fitzgerald and Driver are due to answer police bail on 22 November.

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