Four months after he was suspended, town clerk’s fate may be determined by councillors outside of Wisbech

Town Beadle Alister Hopkins (left) and Town Clerk Erbie Murat.

Town Beadle Alister Hopkins (left) and Town Clerk Erbie Murat. - Credit: Archant

COUNCILLORS from outside of Wisbech may be asked to decide the fate of suspended town clerk Erbie Murat.

Mr Murat, who was suspended at the beginning of January, is facing nine possible counts of misconduct including an allegation of gross misconduct.

A brief statement today from his deputy, Susanah Farmer, said that following an extraordinary meeting of the town council last night an investigation panel had completed it work.

“After discussion, a recommendation was made which will be publicly ratified at the next meeting of the town council.”

I understand the council is likely to switch emphasis away from themselves as effectively both judge and jury by inviting councillors from outside the area to form a disciplinary committee.

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Their recommendation would then be passed back to Wisbech Town Council to decide Mr Murat’s fate.

The town clerk has described some of the allegations as “fabricated, embellished, taken out of context and a case of mistaken identity- and even in the event that there was any truth to the allegations they would be ‘out of time’”.

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Mr Murat said: “It is unacceptable that so many allegations have been determined against me weeks after my suspension and unrelated to it. I genuinely believe that this is evidence of a witch hunt designed to silence my very real concerns.”

The town clerk was suspended following issues relating to an industrial injury claim by Beadle Alister Hopkins and insurance related matters.

He claims that council leader David Oliver did not have the right to suspend him “since at no time has this council given Cllr Oliver or any other individual councillor line management control over the town clerk, nor is the council allowed to do so.”

Mr Murat also alleges some of the claims against him are “especially offensive and poignantly racist.”

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