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No conduct action over ex-leader

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A former council leader has been found to have breached the Code of Conduct but no further action is being taken by the Standards Board.

A Standards Board inquiry into allegations against Mike Storey, a ex-leader of Liverpool City Council, found minor breaches of the code.

An investigation into the conduct of the current council leader Warren Bradley continues.

The complaint against Cllr Storey was that he met Cllr Bradley privately - and another man Lee Forde - in November 2007 to conspire to try to remove Jason Harborow from his position as Chief Executive of the Culture Company.

The Ethical Standards Officer investigated whether Cllr Storey had failed to treat Mr Harborow with respect.

Denied allegation

Cllr Storey strongly denied the allegation, stating that when he was invited to Cllr Bradley’s home to meet Mr Forde he thought it was a purely social occasion.

Councillor Storey said that he left the meeting "a bit gob smacked" at what he considered to be Mr Forde’s desire to raise matters that would have been more appropriately put to the council’s chief executive.

The Ethical Standards Officer decided Cllr Storey could reasonably have expected the matters to be raised.

The finding in full

On the evidence available, the Ethical Standards Officer concluded that Cllr Storey gave confidential information about Mr Harborow’s health to a newspaper reporter.

"Cllr Storey showed an error of judgment in discussing confidential information relating to the welfare of Jason Harborow with a local journalist.

"It is not part of Cllr Storey’s responsibility to comment on personal information relating to an employee of the council.
The Ethical Standards Officer thereford considered Councillor Storey failed to comply with the Code."

The Officer recognised the journalist already knew the confidential information and that Cllr Storey later apologised to Mr Harborow.

The Ethical Standards Officer found no further action was needed.

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