Caerphilly council chiefs charged in pay rise inquiry

Anthony O'Sullivan Anthony O'Sullivan was suspended when police were brought in to investigate

Two senior council officers at Caerphilly council have been charged following a police investigation into pay rises given to senior staff.

The council's chief executive Anthony O'Sullivan, 54, and his deputy Nigel Barnett, 51, face charges of alleged misconduct in a public office.

The council's head of legal services, Daniel Perkins, 48, is due to be charged with the same alleged offences.

They will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on 22 April.

Avon and Somerset Police, which is the investigating force, said the misconduct was alleged to have taken place between June and October 2012.

Police were called in after a Wales Audit Office (WAO) report raised concerns about pay increases awarded to senior staff.

This included a salary increase of £26,000 given to Mr O'Sullivan, approved by councillors on the recommendation of a report he wrote.

The decision sparked protests by staff and trade unions because it came at a time when the bulk of the council's staff were on the third year of a pay freeze.

The council eventually reversed the decision and awarded lower pay rises instead.

A spokeswoman for Caerphilly council said: "We can confirm that two senior officers have been formally charged by Avon and Somerset Police and a third officer has been reported for summons in connection with the offence of misconduct in a public office.

"We are unable to offer any further comment other than to say we continue to fully co-operate with the police with their enquiries."

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