MSPs back Falkirk Herald’s call for inquiry into top cop’s absence

John Mauger.
John Mauger.
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Calls have come for a full inquiry into the details surrounding a senior police officer remaining at home while a complaints investigation was carried out.

John Maugher was the assistant chief constable with Central Scotland Police when he was placed on ‘gardening leave’ on June 30, 2010 – only 14 months after taking up the post.

The subsequent investigation and legal costs involved – Central Scotland Joint Police Board was picking up the officer’s bill along with its own – are reported to have cost taxpayers well over £1 million, with the final costs perhaps reaching double that figure.

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Last week, The Falkirk Herald revealed he was about to return to his duties after it appeared the majority of the complaints made against him had been dropped.

However, it now seems his first week was spent on annual leave and he will be in Police Scotland’s current HQ in Stirling later this month.

Calling for an investigation, Falkirk MSP Michael Matheson said: “This whole mess has cost taxpayers a significant amount of money and the Scottish Police Authority has to investigate this issue to find out how it occurred and to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

His comments were echoed by Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald. He said: “In the interest of openness and transparency I call upon Police Scotland to investigate this matter fully.

“I am concerned at how long this episode has dragged on, and hope the investigation will find, sooner rather than later, exactly what happened.

The results of any internal enquiry must be published – the people of Falkirk district and Forth Valley deserve answers.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Police Authority said: “In the interest of fairness and confidentiality the authority is not able to comment on individual cases.”