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THE deputy chief executive at West Lindsey District Council has been suspended for alleged gross misconduct, the Rasen Mail can exclusively reveal.

£80,000-a-year Adrian McCormick – who is responsible for the council’s finances – has been suspended on full pay while an investigation into his alleged misconduct takes place.

Despite opposition from councillors, high-earner Mr McCormick joined the council last January in an attempt by West Lindsey to cut spending on consultants and save taxpayers’ money.

The news of his suspension has sent shockwaves through the council, but WLDC chiefs are refusing to speak about it.

Coun Ken Bridger was on the panel that interviewed Mr McCormick for the job. He said: “We’re all a bit shocked really, we thought he was the best person for the job with the information we had.”

When asked whether or not he thought Mr McCormick was still the best person for the job, Coun Bridger replied: “I think the jury’s out on that one at the moment, until we hear the full outcome really.”

The Rasen Mail understands a committee headed by chief executive Manjeet Gill is coming to the end of six weeks of evidence gathering before any potential disciplinary action.

Gross misconduct includes things like abuse or harassment, violence at work, fraud or serious theft, malicious damage to property, bullying or corrupt practice.

WLDC leader Coun Burt Keimach said: “This sort of thing hasn’t happened at West Lindsey, not with officers.

“Other members of senior staff are filling in on various projects that are going on and he was working on. I think they’ve divided his tasks between them.”

According to Mr McCormick’s profile on business networking site Linked In, he did a leadership and management course at Loughborough College in 2007 to 2008, followed by a post-graduate course in management and finance at the University of Lincoln.

In 2010 Mr McCormick spent ten months at Hull City Council working as interim head of improvement and transformation programme director.

As well as being deputy chief executive and director of resources at WLDC, Mr McCormick is the director of business transformation at a company called BTC Ltd.

Mr McCormick’s PA said: “He’s away from the office for the foreseeable future. I’m his PA and I don’t know when he’ll be back; I’m sorry.”

A West Lindsey District Council spokesman said: “Staffing processes are legally private and confidential between an employer and employee. Therefore legally we cannot comment on private matters.”