Probe begins into claims of council leader’s bullying of ex-Culture chief
Feb 13 2008 by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post
AN INVESTIGATION into claims Liverpool council leader Warren Bradley bullied the city’s former Culture Company chief executive was last night getting under way.
It comes as the Standards Board confirmed it will investigate complaints from Jason Harborow against Cllr Bradley.
But the watchdog said it would not be investigating similar allegations against regeneration leader Mike Storey.
Cllr Bradley and Cllr Storey are still being investigated by the board over separate claims they conspired to remove Mr Harborow from his post, after a complaint by Labour leader Cllr Joe Anderson.
It comes after the Daily Post exclusively revealed Jason Harborow made an official complaint against both men to the board on January 30.
Last night the 37-year-old declined to comment, describ-ing it as a “private matter”.
But the Standards Board confirmed that potential breaches of the code of conduct which led to the complaint against Cllr Bradley being referred for investigation include:
Not treating others with respect.
Bringing your office or authority into disrepute.
Bullying “any person including other councillors, council officers or members of the public”.
Mr Harborow last week spoke about how he had felt bullied and intimidated during times at the Culture Company.
Cllr Storey told the Daily Post: “I really think the Stand-ards Board is now being used for party political purposes where people can refer any-thing on a whim to try to get a newspaper headline and try to besmirch the character of individuals.”
Last week Mr Harborow spoke about behaviour he had considered “unacceptable”
He said: “My day has gone, but it could be done to some-one else. I want to highlight that type of behaviour some-times takes place, and sometimes in Liverpool.”
Mr Harborow, who resigned last month with a £230,000 pay-off, said he felt sorry for his team after a “blame culture” sprang up over the axed Mathew Street festival.
It is likely the new investi-gation will look at the way he was treated after the cancellation of the outdoor festival.
At the time Cllr Bradley called for Mr Harborow to be “relieved of his duties” in an email to council chief executive Colin Hilton.
The Standards Board said: “We received an allegation relating to Warren Bradley on January 30. Our referrals team assessed the complaint and it was referred for investigation on February 7.”