Not So Mclukie Streak
- – an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD
Following the excellent response to my “Maxwell’s Silver” article last week, I can now report on some on-going developments.
Readers may have already seen reports in the Yorkshire Post concerning the profligate personal use of corporate credit cards and other financial improprieties – including nepotism – attributed variously to Cleveland Police Chief Constable Sean PRICE, his deputy DCC Derek BONNARD and Cleveland Police Authority Chairman Councillor Dave McLUCKIE of Middlebrough Council.
Apparently, the decision to award a PFI maintenance contract worth £87,000 to a firm which employed Councillor Dave McLUCKIE as a consultant has also come under scrutiny: Corruption Probe Story In The Daily Mail – Click Here
One would have thought that there would be a strict requirement for Councillor Dave McLuckie to declare an interest in a company for whom he worked.
There is, indeed.
All local authorities maintain Register of Interests for the precise purpose of ensuring that there is no ‘insider dealing’ – privileged information being exploited for personal and private gain.
Let me offer a hypothetical example of the sort of conduct that is hopefully precluded by an open and transparent Declaration of Interests:
- Let us imagine that a hypothetical elected member learns, through privilege of position, of the Council’s intention to spend tens of thousands of pounds on, for example, wooden fencing, picnic tables and benches for deployment around a local beauty spot.
- Let us also imagine that the same hypothetical elected member is also the company secretary of a timber merchants.
Obviously, it would be totally unacceptable if the hypothetical elected member was in any way able to bring influence to bear on the corporate decision process through which a supplier was selected, let alone the same supplier in which the hypothetical elected member held a vested interest. It would be more than unacceptable – it would be criminal.
Ignorance of the law is no defence under the law, so it is of no avail for Councillor Dave McLuckie – whose position and experience as Chair of the Police Authority in Cleveland would in any case render any claim to ignorance on his part utterly ludicrous – to pretend that he was “unaware” of the need to declare his interest in the company for whom he worked.
It would be equally ludicrous if the hypothetical Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer of the Council of our hypothetical elected member were to assure us that company secretaryship of the hypothetical timber supplier in our hypothetical example was of no import, because the hypothetical elected member was “unaware of the matter”. It would be more than ludicrous, it would be criminal – and the Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer of the Council could certainly not claim ignorance of the law.
All this is beginning to seem depressingly familiar.
Who polices the Police? The Police Authority, of course. But who polices the Police Authority?
Well, Lord Maginnis of DRUMGLASS, for one.
Which brings me to an email just in – also relating to abuse of position – which it is my duty, and pleasure, to share with you now:
—– Original Message —–
From: Timothy Hicks
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 11:58 AM
Subject: The Inspector Moriarty Gang
Dear Mr Ward,
I read your article on Real Whitby with great interest. I can confirm that following public criticism of Chief Constable Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Briggs over allegations of corruption, I am also investigating the Chief Constable’s personal development and other expenses; and that I have formally complained to the IPCC, the Police Authority and North Yorkshire Police, in the specified way, requesting a criminal investigation into the unauthorised outstanding amount, and the arrest of the Chief Constable and his PA for the criminal offence of “Misconduct in Public Office”.
Clearly the good people of North Yorkshire are entitled to a clear understanding of events and to know how their money has been spent. However, neither the Chief Constable, County Councillor Kenyon (Chair of the Police Authority), nor the North Yorkshire Police Professional Standards Department will respond to any correspondence on this matter.
I can also confirm that there have been questions asked in the Houses of Parliament, by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, openly alleging corruption within the North Yorkshire Police and the City of York Council in connection with an attempt to perpetrate a £400,000 international property fraud against a frail confused old age pensioner who is eighty three years old and a veteran of the Second World War. I am investigating a number of police officers, social workers and Yorkshire Councillors in connection with this offence.
The case began when a long-estranged relative of the pensioner persuaded the pensioner and another relative who is also her full time carer to sign their homes (with a net worth of about £400,000) in York and Austria over to him in return for promises of providing care. When the pensioner’s carer began complaining about the way the pensioner was being harassed by the relative for money, the relative alleged that the old-age pensioner’s carer had stolen all of her savings and transferred them to an “offshore account”. This allegation was investigated by the police and found to be false.
A City of York Council Social Worker, who is a friend and colleague of the relative, then alleged the carer had assaulted him when he had visited the pensioner. This was investigated and also found to be false. The Council retracted the allegation and issued a written apology.
The carer then received a written (but unsigned) threat to arrest him issued by a police inspector (to whom I shall refer using the pseudonym “Inspector Moriarty”), because the same social worker alleged he had received offensive e-mails from the carer. The carer denies sending the e-mails and has made over thirty requests to the police to either produce the e-mails, or to withdraw the threat to arrest him – with no response. It is asserted that Chief Constable Maxwell is refusing to release these alleged offensive e-mails, because they do not exist and (along with the above false allegations) were concocted to intimidate the carer into stopping his complaints.
Inspector Moriarty then made police enquiries at the request of the estranged relative to confirm that the pensioner was taken seriously ill while on holiday in Austria, could not travel home and her house was empty. He then relayed the information to the estranged relative, who unlawfully entered the pensioners home and changed the locks, thus excluding her from her home and making her homeless. Having secured possession of the house, Inspector Moriarty then wrote to the Office of the Public Guardian asking for power of attorney, to be transferred from her devoted carer and to the relative who had made the pensioner homeless thereby giving him complete control over the pensioner’s assets. The relative then tried to sell the house fraudulently.
The case was in due course investigated by a joint safeguarding investigation comprising City of York Council and the North Yorkshire Police, who were represented by none other than Inspector Moriarty. However, to protect himself, the social worker and the estranged relative (who works closely with City of York Council through a council funded charity), Inspector Moriarty and the Council excluded the pensioner’s written evidence and that of her carer from the investigation. Lacking that vital testimony, they concluded that there was no evidence of abuse or misconduct by anyone. Although the IPCC has recommended that the safeguarding investigation be re-opened, the Council will not comment and Chief Constable Maxwell is refusing to follow that recommendation, apparently because this will result in the arrest of Inspector Moriarty and criticism of himself for impeding the investigation.
When I began my investigation, a civilian in NYP Force Headquarters falsely accused me of threatening, in e-mails, a police officer (again they have also been unable to produce any such e-mails), in an obvious attempt to frighten me off.
When the fraudulent transfer of the home in Austria came to court, a civilian working in Force Headquarters with no authority to arrest anyone requested, via Interpol (reference 4C/4326686/10 security classified as “Restricted”) and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the arrest of the carer for kidnapping the pensioner from the UK and abusing her in Austria. This initiated an international police operation during which the pensioner was separated from her carer and questioned by armed police – a frightening experience for her. At this point a hero emerged in the form of Inspektor Haberl of the Austrian Federal Police, who conducted a most meticulous and impartial investigation, confirming that the allegations were completely unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. He therefore refused to arrest the carer.
Having failed in their attempt to prevent the carer from giving evidence by having him arrested; unsigned and undated evidence from Inspector Moriarty was then submitted to the Austrian court on Police headed note-paper, in support of the estranged relative’s claim to progress the fraudulent transfer of the carer’s property to him.
While this was going on, a burglary was reported (Crime Number 12110014573) at the pensioner’s home in York, in which all of the pensioner’s high-value electronic goods were taken. It is now alleged that Police Officers participated in this theft. This has been investigated by the CID, but the Chief Constable Maxwell is refusing to release the crime report, presumably because it implicates police officers.
Although this is a very clear cut case of fraud by abuse of position by police officers and social workers, it has thus far been impossible to bring it to court because of the determination of Chief Constable Maxwell to prevent any investigation. He has ignored Parliamentary Questions about corruption in his force, as well as calls for a fresh investigation by the IPCC, and is currently abusing his power as Chief Constable to block any investigation into the allegations about this case and his own expenses and those of other officers.
I would like to say how much I admire the whistleblower who has courageously broken ranks from the police to speak out, and I would appeal to him (or her), or any other police officer or NYP employee who is concerned about corruption in the force to contact me.
Could I also say how much I admire your efforts to challenge malpractice in North Yorkshire. I have forwarded your article to Lord Maginnis who is also very concerned about this case and appreciates your efforts to help.
On behalf of the pensioner and her carer, we offer you our thanks.
Timothy Hicks F.C.A.