Date set for police chief hearing on misconduct allegation

A CHIEF constable alleged to have used undue influence to appoint the daughter of his police authority chairman to a job will face a gross misconduct disciplinary hearing beginning on September 26.

Cleveland Police Authority said two weeks had been set aside for an independent panel to hear – in private – three potential matters of gross misconduct against Sean Price.

The panel will be chaired by Joanna Greenberg QC who also led a panel convened last year to hear a gross misconduct case for nepotism against North Yorkshire’s former chief constable Grahame Maxwell.

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Mr Maxwell was given a final written warning after he admitted gross misconduct on the eve of a full hearing.

The case against Mr Price revolves around his alleged involvement in the appointment of the daughter of Dave McLuckie, who was chairman of Cleveland Police Authority at the time, to a low-level clerical post with the force.

Mr Price also faces a further 18 counts of alleged gross misconduct, seven of which have been deferred pending the outcome of a long-running police inquiry into alleged corruption at the Cleveland force and police authority. No date has been set to hear the 11 counts which can go ahead. The allegations include misuse of a corporate credit card and extravagant spending on foreign travel which were the subject of a Yorkshire Post investigation earlier this year.

The chief constable has been suspended since being arrested in August last year but he has denied any wrongdoing.

In addition, Mr Price faces a separate inquiry into allegations that he failed to report the arrest of his wife – another senior Cleveland officer – on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

No further action was taken by North Yorkshire Police following the arrest of Det Chief Ins Heather Eastwood in Northallerton last year but she has also been suspended over an allegation that she similarly failed to report the incident to her employer.