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Chief leaves by mutual consent after election probe suspension

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A chief executive who was suspended after it emerged more than 1,000 voters were disenfranchised at the last general election has left his post by mutual consent.

LGC reported last November how Newcastle-under-Lyme BC chief executive and acting returning officer John Sellgren was suspended following an investigation by the Association of Electoral Administrators. The investigation found that 500 postal voters in the Newcastle-under-Lyme constituency were disenfranchised, close to 1,000 potential electors based at Keele University were not included in the election register, while two people not entitled to vote actually did so.

The council has now announced Mr Sellgren has left by mutual consent after seven years as its chief.

A statement said: “We would like to place on record our thanks for John’s efforts during his seven years with us. The council recently had its first all-out elections and the new administration has an ambitious manifesto and many significant projects to deliver in the years ahead.

“With this in mind the authority will now consider what management leadership arrangements to put in place to support this programme.”

Mr Sellgren said: “I have enjoyed my time at Newcastle and send my best wishes to the dedicated team of staff and partners with whom it has been a pleasure to have worked.”

The council said there had been no additional payments made to Mr Sellgren by the authority, and added it would make no further statements on the matter.

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s head of audit and elections Liz Dodd was also suspended following the Association of Electoral Administrators investigation. The BBC has reported Ms Dodd remains suspended.

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