The former chief executive of Caerphilly County Borough who was sacked following a seven-year pay row will appeal his dismissal and insists he has ‘nothing to apologise for’.
Anthony O’Sullivan was first suspended on full pay of £137,000 a year in 2013, after he was accused of ordering unlawful pay rises for himself and colleagues.
A special meeting of full council on Thursday, October 3, decided to endorse the findings of the authority’s disciplinary committee and dismissed Mr O’Sullivan following a lengthy investigation.
The saga has cost the authority more than £4.1 million in salaries and legal expenses.
Speaking to BBC Wales, Mr O’Sullivan said: “I have nothing to apologise to anybody for. This is about this vicious, vilifying media campaign that has gone on for six years where I’ve had no right of reply.
“There are two sides to every story – I have had no opportunity to resent mine. That is why I wanted this evening’s meeting to be held in public, so people could see both sides and then make a reasoned judgement.”
He added: “What I would say to the people of Caerphilly now is wait until the employment tribunal takes place in public, wait until the full facts emerge in the public domain. Then make a reasoned decision.
“The decision they’ve made this evening, clearly on political ground, will have very very serious repercussions on local government across Wales. This matter is far from concluded.”
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A Caerphilly County Borough Council spokesman said: “Councillors dismissed Mr O’Sullivan after carefully considering all the evidence presented by both parties as part of this complex and thorough investigation. Serious allegations of gross misconduct have been proven and therefore the right decision has been made.
“The council has fully abided by its statutory requirements when investigating senior officers at this level, including the appointment of a Designated Independent Person (DIP) to undertake a detailed investigation at arms-length from the authority.
“We will vigorously defend the decision of council and we remain confident in our position on this matter.”
Jess Turner, Unison Cymru Wales regional organiser, said: Staff are absolutely sick of it and the council needs to move on.”
She added: “Think about how the money spent could have been invested instead for the public good, in Caerphilly leisure centres, youth clubs, adult social care and libraries.
“Unison has long said that complex and bureaucratic hurdles in dealing with a statutory officer dispute frustrated a swift resolution and these must be reviewed.”