April date for Chief Constable Nick Gargan inquiry

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan Image copyright PA
Image caption Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended on full pay last May

A hearing to decide the future of a chief constable, suspended following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women, will be held in April.

Avon and Somerset Police chief Nick Gargan, 48, was suspended on full pay last May.

The five-day inquiry, to be held in private, will be heard by an independent panel chaired by Dorian Lovell-Pank QC.

Mr Gargan, who took up the post in March 2013, denies any wrongdoing.

'Very prescriptive'

In his absence, the force has been led by Acting Chief Constable John Long.

Writing on her blog, Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said she had hoped the hearing would have taken place in January or February.

But, she said, a "very prescriptive" conduct procedure had to be followed beforehand.

"I'm sure you'll agree that it's important we follow the process and get it right," she said.

Mr Gargan had requested an extension to the deadline for his response to the allegations, Ms Mountstevens said.

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