Milton Keynes Council chief steps down following Facebook probe

Karen Ford
Karen Ford

A council chief who was suspended amid investigations into inappropriate comments being posted on her Facebook has resigned.

Karen Ford, who was suspended as boss of the council’s regulatory unit allegedly posted “gloating and vindictive” messages about members of the public on her Facebook page.

The former trading standards head was under investigation to determine whether or not she would be sacked from her £55,000 a year job.

Milton Keynes Council chiefs had not elaborated on the investigation insisting the details were confidential.

However, last week a council spokesman said: “We can confirm that Karen Ford has resigned from her post as Head of Regulatory Unit at Milton Keynes Council.”

Screen shots of Ms Ford’s personal Facebook page – with some shocking messages allegedly written by her – were passed to the Citizen following her suspension.

The first message apparently refers to a couple of people Ms Ford had prosecuted within her trading standards role.

A posting immediately after their conviction read: ‘Ha, one scumbag got sent down and another has to cough up £65k in fines and costs. that’ll learn ya!’

Later another message adds: ‘Oo – not forgetting the £600k the latter one has to pay off as proceeds of crime. Stick that in ya Christmas stocking.’

Also on the page was a joke about Professor Stephen Hawking, branded “sick” by people who have read it.

All these messages have since been removed from Facebook. It is believed the alleged messages were visible to any member of the public who clicked on Ms Ford’s profile, otherwise they could not have been accessed by people not within her circle of friends.

Ms Ford was head of trading standards until April 2012 and was instrumental in several large prosecution cases all over the city.

She was then promoted to become head of the Milton Keynes Council Regulatory Unit, which deals with trading standards and all aspects of environmental health, including food hygiene inspections.