Liverpool City Council boss Ged Fitzgerald suspended amid fraud probe

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Ged FitzgeraldImage source, Liverpool City Council
Image caption,
Ged Fitzgerald was among four men arrested by police looking into alleged financial irregularities

A council chief executive who was arrested as part of a fraud probe has been suspended.

Ged Fitzgerald stepped aside from his role at Liverpool City Council after his arrest but was suspended following a disciplinary panel meeting earlier.

He and three others were held in May as part of a police investigation into financial irregularities at a neighbouring county council.

Mr Fitzgerald's suspension was a "neutral act", the city council said.

One Connect contract

After the Appointments and Disciplinary Panel meeting, a spokesman said the suspension would "allow an independent investigation into issues, including potential reputational impacts on the city council at the current time, to proceed".

Since 2013 Lancashire Police has been investigating allegations of financial irregularities over the tendering of a £5m contract with One Connect Ltd, a joint venture between the Lancashire County Council and BT to run some services.

The deal included running the county council's fleet of vehicles which was agreed by Lancashire's Conservative administration, led by Geoff Driver.

Mr Fitzgerald was the chief executive at Lancashire before he left to take up the same post at Liverpool.

The contract was revoked later that year by the new Labour administration.

Arrests were made on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and witness intimidation, but not on suspicion of fraud.

Mr Driver, who currently leads the county council, was among those arrested and they are all due to answer bail on 22 November.

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