Crime tsar contender reveals he was subject of police probe

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A FORMER fraud squad detective in the running to become West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has stressed his innocence after revealing he was investigated over alleged money laundering and corruption.

The Yorkshire Post can today disclose that independent candidate Cedric Christie was the subject of a two-year probe by West Yorkshire Police, where he was the head of the force’s economic crime unit money laundering team.

But the former detective inspector has been exonerated of any wrongdoing and retired with more than 30 years’ exemplary service last year.

Mr Christie, who is campaigning with a pledge to drive out “corruption” in the force, claims he fell under suspicion in 2008 as a result of “malicious criminal intelligence” from fraudsters he was investigating over a multi-million pound mortgage scam.

“It is a hazard of being an effective police officer that criminals will try to discredit you to protect themselves,” he said.

Mr Christie claims he was then subjected to a number of “integrity tests” and had his finances probed to as far back as 1991.

“I passed with flying colours because I am a straight, honest guy and I was a police officer of the utmost integrity,” he said.

He said he was “open, honest and transparent” when he became aware of the investigation.

“I openly offered access to my bank accounts and emails. I had nothing to hide,” he said.

No criminal or disciplinary proceedings were ever launched against him and he retired last June with a certificate of exemplary service from outgoing Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison.

“If I had been corrupt I would not be a prospective Police and Crime Commissioner. I would probably be in jail. You won’t find a straighter guy,” he said.

He confirmed his brother, Ralph Christie, is due to stand trial in April charged with fraud, theft and money laundering.

The property developer, who lives in Crete, and his co-accused, John Jessop, of Horsforth, Leeds, deny making false representations to alleged victim Benedict Clark to secure a 300,000 euro investment in October 2009.

Cedric Christie confirmed he was interviewed in connection with the case in April 2010 over money he had invested with his brother. He was never arrested and no evidence was found against him.

Mr Christie is West Yorkshire’s only independent candidate in the November 15 election.

He is standing against Labour’s Mark Burns-Williamson, Conservative Geraldine Carter and Liberal Democrat Andrew Marchington.

The successful candidate will have the power to hire and fire the force’s chief constable, set the budget and decide local policing priorities.