North Yorkshire police bosses decide no legal action to recoup £100,000 as 'political' row blows up

POLICE bosses in North Yorkshire have decided not to take legal action to recoup £100,000 from two former senior officers - but have again urged them to re-pay the money voluntarily.

The moves came as Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and former deputy chief constable Adam Briggs openly clashed over the issue.

Mr Briggs accused Mrs Mulligan of ‘political posturing’ but she responded by claiming he was himself ‘making accusations of a political nature’.

The Press reported last month how letters had been sent to Mr Briggs and the county’s former Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell, asking them to repay money following a review of historic and current payments to chief officers.

Mrs Mulligan and current Chief Constable Dave Jones said that some payments, although decided upon in good faith at the time, did not appear with hindsight to have been within the legal power of the former Police Authority.

They said today a specialist barrister had now advised that the costs of taking the matter to court would outweigh any potential financial payback. “This would in effect amount to throwing good money after bad, and we do not think that it is in the taxpayer’s interest,” they said.

But they also said: “We are continuing to urge Mr Maxwell and Mr Briggs to pay back taxpayers’ money that they should not have received. We believe there has been an overwhelming public argument put to them to return the funds.

Mr Briggs said he had been stunned to learn Mrs Mulligan was investigating the payments and to be asked to repay allowances the force had drawn up when he was appointed.

“I am pleased, though not surprised, to learn the review has concluded I acted in good faith throughout and that the PCC has accepted advice to drop this action,” he said.

“It seems incredulous to me that a PCC could have ever believed that a police force, or any responsible employer, could appoint someone on clearly laid out terms and conditions and then six years later try to renege on the agreement....It is clear to me that the political posturing characterised by this sad episode will not end.”

Mrs Mulligan said Mr Briggs had made a number of substantive errors, the report was not political in nature and it was regrettable that ‘openness and transparency’ was being seen as political posturing, when for the first time the public now had the full facts available to them.

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