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DONCASTER INQUIRY GAINS SCOPE

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The police inquiry into suspected corruption at Doncaster MBC is being widened, with the scope of the allegations n...
The police inquiry into suspected corruption at Doncaster MBC is being widened, with the scope of the allegations now too wide for fraud squad officers.

Detectives will be joined by a team of specialist officers to conduct the investigation, which is now expected to run for at least two years.

The initial inquiry began in March after a district auditor's management letter revealed several irregularities.

The auditor, Gordon Sutton, said there was 'a culture which has grown up which needs to be looked at'. This included frequent trips by members to exotic overseas destinations on club and business class flights and a free bar at the council-run Doncaster Race Course.

Also under investigation after a later auditor's report was the relationship with Doncaster 2000, a partnership between the council and local building and development firm Keepmoat.

The auditor believes an agreement whereby Keepmoat gets first refusal on all surplus council land could be illegal.

In his report the auditor said: 'There are serious concerns over the lack of control in some sensitive areas.'

Superintendent Graham Johnson, leading the inquiry, said there had been a 'considerable amount of rumour and speculation' and until he had papers from the auditor and fraud squad he would not have a firm idea of the scope of the investigation.

A spokesman for Doncaster MBC said: 'We have co-operated with the district auditor's inquiry and we will continue to co-operate with the police.'

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