Investigation into conduct of former chief executive will not proceed

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Following the resignation of it's chief executive, Cheshire East Council has confirmed that the disciplinary hearing to consider allegations in relation to Mr Suarez will not proceed.

Councillor Margaret Simon, acting chair of the cross-party investigation and disciplinary committee (IDC) of Cheshire East Council, confirmed that the two-day disciplinary hearing, which was due to commence today, was to consider allegations in relation to Mr Suarez.

Cllr Simon said: "It is confirmed that Mr Suarez resigned on 9 July 2018 with immediate effect and without notice. The resignation was accepted by Kath O' Dwyer, acting chief executive on 10 July. Mr Suarez will receive his contractual and statutory entitlement to outstanding holiday pay and salary to 9 July 2018.

"The IDC reconvened at Macclesfield Town Hall at 10.30am today. However, as the IDC can only deal with matters in relation to existing statutory officers of the council, there is no need to proceed with the disciplinary hearing, due to the resignation of Mr Suarez."

The former chief executive Michael Suarez was suspended since April 2017 after concerns were raised over his conduct.

The Council has not disclosed any details regarding the nature of the concerns raised about his conduct.

Mike Suarez joined Cheshire East Council as Chief Executive in August 2013, having experience in Local Government with several other councils. He started his local government career at the London Borough of Southwark before taking up his first Director role with Slough Borough Council. He was previously an Executive Director with the London Borough of Lambeth.

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Cheshire East Council
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Comments

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David Hadfield
Thursday 12th July 2018 at 6:37 pm
So, lets get this right …….
The Investigation and Disciplinary Committee (the IDC) can only deal with matters relating to EXISTING officers of the council ……. but, as the Chief Executive Mr Suarez had already resigned just a few days ago, this committee cannot investigate him as he's not an officer of the council any longer ?

Well, fancy that, what a coincidence ?

What did he do wrong to be suspended for such a long time (a total of 15 months) and now be allowed to walk away without having to give any explanation or being questioned ?

Surely, someone in authority should be looking into this highly unusual procedure of a Chief Executive being allowed to just walk away from his position without further investigation ?

This is just beyond belief, or am I alone in considering these actions extremely unusual ?

Remember, Councillors, this is OUR money and taxes you've been put in charge of and you've been elected to control OUR money and taxes in a correct and transparent manner.
Nick Jones
Thursday 12th July 2018 at 8:21 pm
@ David.. excellent observation..... unfortunately our CEC Cllrs wont or are not allowed to comment , at their spin doctors or leaders decree on pertinent CEC matters.... you will see from this site and its sister Wilmslow.co.uk... They will grab column inches and comment about minor trivia,.. but not the serious issues that deceive the electorate ( Ie Local Plan, Lyme Green, Air Pollution, etc etc ) and how and why they waste so much of OUR TAX imposition.
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 13th July 2018 at 8:53 am
Greed, corruption , a possible cover up and we (the ordinary folk who are NOT allowed to ask questions) have to pay for this charade through our Council Tax. I am so glad there was a huge increase this year ( not to help our beleaguered ovecrowded High School, or to repair our dangerously pot holed roads). Yes the increase went toward funding a non existent "sham" enquiry and to lining the pockets of "fat cat" Civil Servants like Suarez. The whole thing stinks, and years ago I rang the same Council to ask about Erika Wenzl's generous pay off. I spoke to an odious man who was obviously the CEO's enforcer and tame rottweiller. He was bad tempered and downright nasty . His attitude was almost "how dare a mere 'pleb' like myself ask such pertinent questions. This Council has been rotten since it's formation 12 or so years ago. Is there any hope we can get our MP now to table a question in parliament about the goings on in CEC :(( Meanwhile will Mr Suarez pop up again at another council or does early retirement in the sun beckon? There really are one set of rules for some who walk this earth and another much more onerous set of rules for us mere mortals....
Pete Taylor
Friday 13th July 2018 at 5:55 pm
Well-said, above respondents; CEC has been a walking disaster since day one. Reportedly this latest fiasco has already cost US over £1M; he’s now likely to get a lump sum plus holiday pay for the 15 months he was suspended for.
The real joke is- THEY (who work for us) will not even tell us what he was accused of!
Guilty or innocent, this needs a Police investigation into how it has been mis-handled.
As for our MPs getting involved.... party politics ensures they will not, such a shame we no longer have an independent MP.
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 14th July 2018 at 11:51 am
The thing is here Pete (and well said btw) that this is above even party politics. Looking at Suarez's past and twitter feed a few years back Mr Suarez was a Gordon Brown fan so highly doubt that he is any friend of the sitting Tory executive on the Council but obviously is happy to take the "coin" ;) I feel that this smacks more of a civil service "cover up" and we k now that these are the folk who weild real power in this country. Some of these types are real "Machiavellian " monsters. £1000000! I am sure that would have come in handy for the High School when they desperately need it or a useful sub' to Highways who are operating on a "shoestring" budget. The "tough guy" I spoke to at CEC several years back actually laboured the point that they (the employees high and low at the Council) do not take their orders from the elected members. I reminded him that he was a "Public Servant" he was not having it ;(
Michael Orange
Monday 16th July 2018 at 6:05 pm
I note the use of the terms "civil servant" or "civil service" in the comments. Civil servants are paid employees of national government departments or agencies and have nothing to do with local government. If you mean the more general description of those that work in some way for councils, or elected appointees to either national or local government posts, then please describe them as "public servants" but never "civil servants." As a retired civil servant who worked for the Ministry of Labour, Inland Revenue, Ministry of Social Security, Ministry of Defence and The Home Office, I object to being associated with these people by implication. Please appreciate the difference. End of rant and I agree with the justified concerns of those who have taken the time to comment.
Tony Haluradivth
Monday 16th July 2018 at 8:03 pm
Point noted Michael and apologies for the mix up. Public Servants it should be (mind you some like Suarez obviously forgot that part of their job description ;)
Paul Murray
Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 10:58 am
Searching for details re Suarez, I found an Interesting article, it nicely summarises quite a few of the goings on at CE. https://bit.ly/2uGjkb4
I love the award they received from Private Eye....
David Hadfield
Tuesday 17th July 2018 at 6:00 pm
Good find, Mr Murray, and the Private Eye article exposes many more things wrong with this Cheshire East Council …….. certainly worth a read.
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 18th July 2018 at 11:31 am
All most edifying, thanks from me too Paul :)

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