Sacked police chief 'disappointed'

Salisbury Journal: Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price is to be sacked Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price is to be sacked

A chief constable has said he was "extremely disappointed" to have been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will disclose the outcome of an investigation into the conduct of Sean Price, the suspended chief of Cleveland Police.

An internal disciplinary hearing - closed to the public - concluded on Thursday night, and afterwards Mr Price released a statement reacting to his dismissal. He said: "Clearly, I am extremely disappointed with the result today. I believe the disciplinary proceedings have sadly come to an incorrect conclusion.

"When the judgment was delivered and I was offered the chance to put forward mitigation I declined - the panel was mistaken in their finding and I could not seek to argue for a lesser punishment for something I haven't done. I will therefore be discussing with my lawyers over the next few days how this can be addressed."

Mr Price was investigated following allegations about his role in recruiting the daughter of the former police authority chairman Dave McLuckie to a civilian post. It was claimed he used "undue influence" to get her the job.

Mr Price has also been investigated for criminal matters as part of the wide-ranging Operation Sacristy inquiry into alleged police misconduct.

In his statement following the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, he said: "It is important that the public be aware that the CPS carefully studied this file and decided there was no criminal case to answer. Whilst the burden of proof at misconduct hearings is of a lower standard I am still perplexed as to why a misconduct panel could have found against me in the light of the evidence presented and the obvious hurdles that were placed in the way of me being able to lay the full facts of this case before the panel."

He concluded his statement by adding: "As chief constable I have been, and remain, immensely proud of the achievements of Cleveland Police and the dedication of its officers and staff.

"They have produced record falls in crime and disorder and won the confidence and support of the communities they serve, winning the title of police force of the year in 2011. I am confident this success will continue. On a personal note, I continue to deny any wrongdoing is this or any other matter."

He said he will continue with a legal claim that he was unlawfully arrested and detained.

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