Another council chief under scrutiny

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THE lawyer responsible for the integrity of Milton Keynes council is under investigation following a series of allegations from a whistleblower.

Philip McCourt is head of the council’s legal department as well as the official Monitoring Officer – the person ensuring every employee and councillor follows the correct codes of conduct.

The investigation comes hot on the heels of the council’s decision to suspend its corporate director Brian Sandom and investigate allegations concerning personal use of fleet cars.

The allegations about Mr Sandom’s behaviour were also received from a whistleblower and it is understood they have been passed to police for consideration.

Last week Mr McCourt’s whistleblower, a former female solicitor colleague, took the unusual step of emailing a list of allegations to every single councillor.

The woman, who resigned early this year after being suspended, also sent the two page round robin email to the chief executive.

It prompted an immediate investigation, which is still ongoing. But on Monday council chiefs emailed all councillors to say they had so far found nothing to indicate impropriety .

They described the claims as “unsubstantiated and somewhat general”.

The email added: ‘Although the information circulated from the Whistleblower has been widely distributed, I must stress that an investigation is yet to be undertaken and as such we should not speculate or discuss its potential outcome, or share the confidential material which has been sent to us by the whistleblower’.

A council spokesman refused to comment about Mr McCourt.

He also refused to say when the investigation would be complete into Mr Sandom, who is due to retire next week.