A report investigating whether disciplinary action should be taken against Caerphilly County Borough Council’s chief executive is being discussed behind closed doors.
Councillors began considering a report probing allegations of misconduct against chief executive, Anthony O’Sullivan, last week and reconvened on Monday.
The council’s investigating and disciplinary committee is discussing findings from the long-running investigation, estimated to have cost taxpayers more than £4million.
The council suspended Mr O’Sullivan on full pay in 2013 after he was accused of ordering unlawful pay rises for himself and his colleagues.
He has been on special paid leave since 2016.
While fellow bosses Nigel Barnett and Daniel Perkins were paid off after criminal charges were dropped, the council has yet to reach an agreement with Mr O’Sullivan.
The report by the Designated Independent Person (DIP) – who was appointed by the Welsh Government in 2017 to investigate the dispute – was submitted earlier this month.
However it is not being made public as it contains “detailed information regarding personal information which affects a particular individual(s) and the affairs of that individual(s).”
Although there is a public interest in the way the council deals with staffing issues, the council’s legal team says there is a risk of prejudice if the information were disclosed.
“While there is a need to ensure transparency and accountability of the council for decisions taken in relation to staffing issues, this must be balanced against the fact that these matters have not yet been concluded and outweigh the information being made public,” the council’s head of legal services writes.
Councillors voted to extend the contract of the council’s interim chief executive, Christina Harrhy, until March 31, 2020 earlier this month.
But the meeting heard that the contract can be ended or changed before that date if the findings of the investigation are concluded earlier.
Councillors have questioned the length of the contract extension and said the DIP’s report should come before a full council meeting for discussion this summer.
A spokesman for Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “We can confirm that the Designated Independent Person (DIP), who has been undertaking the disciplinary investigation into the chief executive, has now submitted her report.
“The report is currently being considered by the council’s own investigating and disciplinary committee and the matter will remain confidential while we continue to follow the agreed statutory process.”