Top cop set to return to work after three years on leave

Assistant Chief Constable  John Mauger
Assistant Chief Constable John Mauger

A senior police officer who has been on extended leave for three years could soon be back at work.

Assistant Chief Constable John Mauger was placed on ‘gardening leave’ from the former Central Scotland Police force in June 2010.

The Falkirk Herald understands he could be back in uniform as early as next week – and may be given the task of looking after policing for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Central force’s third in command was placed on leave following allegations of misconduct.

Mr Mauger had allegedly clashed with the force’s then chief constable Kevin Smith amid claims of insubordination and inefficiency.

Under the change to a single national force on April 1 this year, all officers from “legacy forces” kept their ranks and conditions meaning he will remain as an assistant chief constable and a role must be found for him.

Last night (Wednesday), the Scottish Police Authority declined to comment on an individual case.

John Mauger took up his position as Central Scotland

Police’s assistant chief constable on April 6, 2009, after more than 25 years serving with the Metropolitan and Essex forces.

Fourteen months later he was placed on ‘gardening leave’ – although the force always maintained he was not suspended.

The situation centred round allegations made by Chief Constable Kevin Smith about Mr Mauger’s behaviour which he believed may have amounted to misconduct. There were also concerns about his vetting status.

In October 2010 the then chief constable of Grampian Police, Colin McKerracher, was appointed to carry out an investigation into the allegations. This was carried out over the next five months and saw 70 people interviewed, taking up over 5500 hours of police time.

A report into the investigation was presented to Central Scotland Joint Police Board prior to summer 2011 but, despite numerous closed door meetings, the officer remained away from his desk.

It also appears that Mr Mauger made a complaint of misconduct against his then chief constable and this was investigated by the chief constable of the former Dumfries and Galloway force, Patrick Shearer.

A Freedom of Information request revealed that this inquiry involved the chief and a team made up of a chief inspector, an inspector, two sergeants, four constables and two police staff.

They took 139 witness statements, 156 hours of overtime at a cost of over £3600 were incurred, along with other costs in excess of £16,300.

The results of the inquiry were provided in a report on February 22 and the chief constable presented his findings to a special, closed doors meeting of the board on March 1. His report has never been made public.