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EDINBURGH REINSTATES SHIELD AFTER APPEAL WIN

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Richard Shield was reinstated as Edinburgh City Council's head of corporate services this week after a six member c...
Richard Shield was reinstated as Edinburgh City Council's head of corporate services this week after a six member committee upheld his appeal against dismissal. The committee announced its decision on Sunday evening after three days hearing evidence. It gave no explanation or elaboration. Mr Shield returned to work on Monday. Mr Shield was suspended in July and dismissed in October after a disciplinary hearing upheld two complaints about his handling of the recruitment of a contracts officer.

The committee overturned the findings of the original disciplinary hearing conducted by Director of Planning Graham Duncan. He had upheld complaints that Mr Shield contravened the council's selection and recruitment policy and had wilfully failed to implement an instruction from Chief Executive Paul Lowenberg.

The policy and resources committee was due to consider yesterday the fate of Tommy Sheppard who was selected for the £22,000 contracts officer post by Mr Shield. When Mr Sheppard took up the post in July he was told to go on special leave pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings against Mr Shield.

Friends of Mr Sheppard said he could see no reason why he should not be at work immediately, adding that he wants nothing more than to take up the job he was awarded five months ago. Mr Sheppard, the former deputy leader of Hackney LBC, was actually interviewed and offered the job twice. The council decided to re-interview after two women applying to job share the post complained about the first recruitment procedure.

Mr Shield's lawyer Vincent Belmonte said his client was delighted by the outcome. 'He is very pleased his actions have been exonerated. The appeal committee accepted that Mr Shield was acting in good faith in a policy vacuum and not contrary to the chief executive's instructions'. Mr Shield argued in the appeal hearing that he did not contravene council policy because there were no procedures set down covering second interviews.
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