Police, Politics & Potash

Mortal Mindy's picture

The former  External Affairs Manager of Cleveland Potash Ltd, aka Boulby Mine, has been cleared of any charges of gross misconduct by Cleveland Police Authority.  ITV News reports:  The former chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, David McLuckie, has issued an angry statement, after it was revealed that he and others arrested as part of Operation Sacristy, will not face any criminal charges.

Mr McLuckie was arrested as part of the anti-corruption probe and stepped down as chairman in May 2011.

He has always maintained his innocence.

"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.

It is now clear that the claims of ‘serious corruption’ were never justified and those who repeatedly made those statements in an attempt to justify Sacristy should be called to account."

– David McLuckie, former chair of Cleveland Police Authority

The investigation began because of a claim that the then Chairman of the Police Authority took a significant cash payment to secure the sale of a former police building. That has now been proved to be false.  Sean Price was the highest paid Chief Constable outside of London, but was sacked for gross misconduct in 2012. A disciplinary hearing found he had asked a member of staff to inquire about a job for the former police authority chairman Dave McLuckie's daughter, then denied doing so when he was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. BBC Reports: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-26447277

The Northern Echo reports that both Sean Price and David McLuckie also broke the rules by turning up in person to a Stockton Mercedes dealership, Mr Price in full uniform, to negotiate the purchase of the car in 2008 ... Mr McLuckie told a sales assistant that “I’m the man with the purse strings,” and pointed to Mr Price before saying, “I’m the man who tells him what he can have.”  

Interestingly, David McLuckie (Lab) held his positiion as Chair of Cleveland Police Authorty at the same time that Jane Kenyon,  (Con) was Chair of North Yorkshire Police Authority.  McLuckie a Councillor for Redcar and Cleveland Council and Kenyon with Scarborough Borough Council with Portfolio for Finance, Procurement & Legal (RoI :   http://democracy.scarborough.gov.uk/mgDeclarationSubmission.aspx?UID=128...).  Given that Ms Kenyon's partner holds land a few meters away from SM5 (Cloughton)  it is no surprise that both 'Ex-Chairs' have a keen interest in potash.   

On 18 Dec/13 the headlines Ex-Cleveland Police Chair 'put frighteners on'  friend ....  "You don't know what I can do"  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-25434248  following an 8 month prison sentence from July/13 (much taken on licence)  when McLukie was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by asking a friend to take his speeding points.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-23282995  McLuckie, a former miner for 22 years at Boulby Potash Mine who held the position of External Affairs Manager, said he was turning his back on politics and confirmed that he was to resigned both as councillor for Skelton and from the Labour Party.   Strikingly,  as he was led away to the cells, McLuckie blew a kiss to his partner and daughter.

It is unclear if David McLuckie will return to his position at Cleveland Potash following his extended "gardening leave". 

Meanwhile for some further insight into Operation Sacristym and a glimpse into the lifestyle of a former Chair of the Police Authority,  his relationships with his associates and how to spend public money whilst telling the Chief of Police Sean Price what he can and can't have,  some further reading can be found here:   http://www.cleveland.police.uk/downloads/Sacristy%20FOI/Managed_Report_i...



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Captain Black's picture

One Two Buckle My Shoe

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22452157 (May 2013)

The force admits falsely imprisoning Mr Watson and his family when the lawyer was arrested in 2009, wrongful interference with his belongings and trespass.

Ch Insp Riordan told Newsnight in a statement that it had been agreed "by senior individuals" that there would be an application for a joint warrant relating to Cleveland Police's investigation into perverting the course of justice and an investigation into money laundering by West Yorkshire Police.

Instead, he was retired on a full pension following a decision by Cleveland Police's Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, a man who knows Ch Insp Riordan personally as they were both on the police sailing team.

In October 2012, Sean Price became the first chief constable to be sacked for 35 years when he was dismissed for gross misconduct after he was found to have lied about his role in a recruitment matter and to have instructed a member of staff to lie.