Mystery surrounds McCormick’s departure

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AN £80,000-a-year council boss suspended for alleged gross misconduct has left the authority – and taxpayers’ money has been used to give him a pay-off, the Gainsborough Standard understands.

West Lindsey District Council’s deputy chief executive Adrian McCormick was suspended on full pay in January while investigators gathered evidence before any potential disciplinary action.

WLDC has confirmed Mr McCormick – who was responsible for the council’s finances – is no longer working for the authority but is keeping tight-lipped about why he has gone.

Council insiders say WLDC paid off Mr McCormick – its second most powerful officer – using taxpayers’ money.

The council appointed Mr McCormick in January last year in an attempt to cut spending and save taxpayers’ money, despite opposition from councillors.

Speaking after news of the suspension, Coun Ken Bridger – who was on the panel that interviewed Mr McCormick for the job - said: “We’re all a bit shocked really, we thought he was the best person for the job with the information we had.”

Asked whether he thought Mr McCormick was still the best person for the job, Coun Bridger replied: “I think the jury’s out on that one at the moment, until we hear the full outcome really.”

WLDC has not yet decided if it will replace high-earner Mr McCormick. A spokesman said: “Adrian McCormick no longer works for West Lindsey District Council. I cannot make any further comment.”

It is thought other senior council officers had taken on work normally done by Mr McCormick.