Former Cleveland Police Authority chairman cleared of corruption allegation (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Former Cleveland Police Authority chairman cleared of corruption allegation
THE former chairman of Cleveland Police Authority has spoken of his relief that he will not be facing any further criminal charges after the CPS decided there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
The news came nine months after Dave McLuckie was jailed for perverting the course of justice by asking a friend to accept speeding points on his behalf.
Newcastle Crown Court had been told that in 2005, while vice-chairman of the authority, McLuckie's Peugeot was captured at 36mph in a 30mph zone.
Instead of accepting the punishment, McLuckie, who already had nine points on his licence, asked friend Maurice Ward to say he was driving to avoid him being banned.
And in December last year, the former Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillor was cleared of witness intimidation after he had been accused of using veiled threats to warn off Peter Blyth from giving evidence against him in the Operation Sacristy corruption investigation.
Last night, Mr McLuckie spoke of his relief that he would not be facing any further criminal charges and called for the names of those who has initiated the investigation to be publically named.
He said: “Obviously my first reaction to today’s announcement is one of enormous relief not just on my own behalf and that of my family, but on behalf of the other people whose lives have been ruined by an investigation which should never have happened.
“The real disgrace would be if those who have pursued what I firmly believe was a witch-hunt against myself and others escape scot-free whilst we will have to live with the consequences for ever—and the public will have to meet the scandalous costs.
“I hope that the media which has been so assiduous in covering every twist and turn of Sacristy over the years will now show the same determination in asking the questions to which we all deserve answers and will seek out those who have remained in the shadows for so long but have done everything possible to use smear and innuendo to damage lives.
“All of us who have been damaged by Sacristy—and the public who will bear the financial burden—deserve to know the identities and motivation of those who initiated it in the first place and who continued to drive it forward for so long when it was clear there was no justification and no genuine evidence.”
Mr McLuckie was one of the first people to go public when his name was connected to Sacristy and has always maintained that he had committed no crime.
One of the companies named at the conclusion of the investigation has ties to the former councillor – Combi UK.
The heating and engineering company was awarded thousands of pounds worth of contracts by the police authority for work on its buildings.
He has always maintained he had no part in any of the contract negotiations or bidding process and that he had declared his connection to Middlesbrough-based company in the Register of Members' Interests at both the police authority and the council.
No one was available for comment last night at Combi UK.
Former Chief Constable Sean Price was dismissed without notice after being found guilty of two charges of gross misconduct following an eight-day independent disciplinary hearing over allegations relating to the recruitment of Mr McLuckie’s daughter.
There was no evidence that his daughter was aware of the chief constable using his influence to secure her job.
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