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Liverpool chief 'voluntarily' steps aside after arrest

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Ged Fitzgerald has decided to “voluntarily step aside” from his role as Liverpool City Council’s chief executive following his arrest.

LGC reported on Monday how Mr Fitzgerald, along with three other men, had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and witness intimidation in relation to a long-running probe into Liverpool City Council and Lancashire CC’s joint venture with BT, Liverpool DIrect and One Connect. Both are now defunct.

Mr Fitzgerald was Lancashire chief executive from 2008 until joining Liverpool in 2011.

None of the men have so far been charged and all have since been released on police bail.

Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson (Lab) said: “I have spoken to the chief executive and also to the police about the nature of the investigation and how this impacts upon the council and the city.

“The chief executive has done the same and concluded that he will voluntarily step aside from his role for a period until certain investigations are complete.

“This will also extend to the additional duties the chief executive has been undertaking as interim head of paid service for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. This decision has been accepted as the right decision for the city and to enable the council to deliver services without distraction.

“The chief executive has not been suspended by the council and is not subject to any disciplinary process.”

Mr Anderson said there was “no intention” to appoint an interim chief executive. Mr Fitzgerald’s duties will be covered by the senior management team and Mr Anderson. A city council spokesman told LGC the statutory roles were currently being re-assigned and will be confirmed in due course.

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