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HACKNEY ROW OVER REINSTATEMENT OF HOUSING DIRECTOR

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Rows have resurfaced at Hackney LBC over claims that some councillors 'fixed' or did 'improper deals' to get the fo...
Rows have resurfaced at Hackney LBC over claims that some councillors 'fixed' or did 'improper deals' to get the former director of housing reinstated after he was sacked for racial harassment.

The Hackney Gazette (p9) reports how the former personnel director Sam Yeboah won five of six claims against the council at an industrial tribunal (see LGCNnet).

The former housing director Bernard Crofton, whom the tribunal said had 'made so many false allegations . . . demonstrably without foundation', was dismissed for gross misconduct but later reinstated.

But Julie Grimble, the Labour group's deputy leader, said the tribunal found 'serious issues' around the disciplinary proceedings relating to Mr Crofton's reinstatement. They centre on a meeting which was held in the home of a Labour rebel, Phillip Pearson, who is now deputy leader of the council's Liberal Democrats.

'The tribunal judgment says that Mr Corfton's union representative improperly lobbied councillors and councillors improperly countenanced those doing the lobbying,' said Ms Grimble.

'It is a fact that they tried to stop the disciplinary process happenning, and it is a fact that councillors met in a range of places, including, I believe the house of commons tea room. It is an utterly disgraceful way of treating a quasi-judicial disciplinary process set up to be fair to all colours and creeds,' she added.

But Mr Pearson said: 'I have read the tribunal's judgment. At the end it says 'We find there was not a political deal to reinstate Crofton' and concludes that 'we find his disciplinary appeal was not a fix'.'

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