Friday, 11 July 2014

Why did Tony Hogg pay £165,000 to get rid of his chief executive?

The publication of the accounts for the office of Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner, earlier this month reveal that Tory Commissioner Tony Hogg paid £165,000 to get rid of his chief executive - Sue Howl. The former chief executive was in the post from the time of Mr Hogg's election until November last year. At the time she left in circumstances that have yet to be fully explained. According to a press release issued at the time of her departure, it was the ubiquitous "to seek new challenges" reason. When Liberal Democrat Councillor Alex Folkes asked, Mr Hogg and his office refused to give any more information. The accounts show that the former chief executive - who was paid a basic salary of around £98,000 per year - received a pay off of about £142,000 and further pension contributions of about £23,000. Mr Hogg is insistent that Ms Howl left of her own accord. So why did she get a pay off worth about a year and a half's salary? That money would have employed around five uniformed police constables to make our streets safer. Mr Hogg is also having to explain why his total office costs came in at more than £1.95 million, well over budget. That's about £350,000 more than the police authority he replaced despite a promise by the Home Secretary that costs would fall. Among the additional costs were tens of thousands of pounds on consultants and money spent on accommodation for Mr Hogg because he refused to take up the free accommodation made available for him.

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