Town clerk’s suspension - now in fourth month- focuses on 21 page rebuttal of allegations leaked to this newspaper
- Credit: Archant
HE’S been suspended on full pay since the first week of January but Wisbech town clerk Erbie Murat has come out with a 21 page rebuttal of charges against him.
Mr Murat told an investigation committee looking into allegations against him that there was a “witch hunt designed to silence my very real concerns”.
He also said that it was “unacceptable that so many allegations have been determined against me, 11 weeks after my suspension and unrelated to it”.
Although it had never previously been made public the 21 page report – delivered anonymously to our office- contains the background to the dispute that led to his suspension.
It stems from sick pay and related insurance payments made to the Beadle, Alister Hopkins, and an investigation conducted by Mr Murat but which he says led to a breakdown in relations between him and council bosses.
Mr Murat claims the decision by Council Leader David Oliver and his deputy Councillor Jonathan Farmer to suspend him was “a pre meditated and co-ordinated attack on me”.
He said: “I believe they suspended me because I persisted in recovering sickness pay from a member of staff, entirely in accordance with my responsibilities.”
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Mr Murat has called upon the council to appoint an independent investigator without any councillors being involved to counter the claim he is being discriminated against.
Since his suspension Mr Murat has tried to bring a claim against Cllr Oliver and Cllr Farmer through the conduct committee of Fenland Council but this was rejected. The committee decided it could not intervene whilst there was potentially legal action involved.
The investigation working group of the town council is expected soon to hand the results of its finding to a disciplinary group drawn from the remaining council members.
This report is expected to recommend Mr Murat is dismissed- a result which the suspended town clerk, being advised by the Society of Local Council Clerks, is likely to challenge at a tribunal.