ABOVE is an email that Colin Hilton, the chief executive of Liverpool city council, wrote to the Standards Board to officially complain about the conduct of former council leader, Mike Storey.
Amazingly, and for reasons best known to himself, CoverUp NEVER SENT this email to the Standards Board.
It was written after a council investigation into the Storeyteller leaking details of The Harbarrowboy's heart condition to Joe Riley at the Oldham Echo.
The email outlines nine potential breaches of codes of conduct by the Storeyteller.
CoverUp told Jason Harbarrowboy that he had sent the letter and had made an official complaint to the Standards Board about the Storeyteller's conduct.
This was a lie. He did nothing of the kind.The Harbarrowboy was astonished months later when he discovered that Hilton had never sent the email! He had kept it.
After a complaint by Jase, the Standards Board are now finally investigating the circumstances outlined by CoverUp's email - and how Storeyteller leaked details of the Harbarrowboy's health to the Oldham Echo.
If the Standards Board eventually find against the Storeyteller on this charge - one of several - it would also be curtains for Hilton.
It would mean that he had been complicit in a grave breach of the city council's Code of Conduct.
Yet he failed to draw it to the attention of the proper authorities.
We might also conclude that CoverUp has 'gone native' and thrown in his lot with the Lib Dims, forever compromising the last tatty remnants of his professional integrity.
The plot thickens.
Now read on...
16 July 2007
The Standards Board for England,
I write to refer to you details of what I consider to be a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct by Councillor Mike Storey CBE. I enclose a copy of my recent letter to Councillor Storey in which I set out the grounds for this referral.
As you will be aware Councillor Storey is a senior councillor and a member of the Council’s Executive Board. My Investigations have led me to conclude that he has supplied a story to the media consisting of confidential information about the health of a senior employee without any attempt to either check the particular facts or to discuss internally whether or not such information needed to be released and, if it did, what would be the best way to present such information so as to exercise care towards the employee and protect the reputation of the council.
Whilst the councillor is also a Director of the Council’s Capital of Culture Company (to whom the senior employee concerned reports directly) neither the service nor the employee comes directly within the councillor’s portfolio and the matter was not, therefore, within the responsibility of the councillor. I can think of no proper motive for the councillor having directly approached the media to disclose the information but, in any event, the councillor denies so doing. I set out below extracts from the Council’s Constitution which I believe to be relevant.
Member Officer Protocol (copy enclosed):-
Para 6.1 – must keep confidential information confidential
Para 6.3 – information about someone’s private or business affairs – will normally be confidential (in my view this must include the health of an employee and even if it were necessary to make a public announcement about the health of a senior employee that should have been done properly through the Council by the appropriate people).
Para 7.1 – personal relationships must be based on mutual respect
Para 7.3 - must strive to avoid developing antagonistic competitive relationships with each other.
Para 10.2 – members should not become personally involved in staffing matters
Employees Code of Conduct (also in Council’s Constitution)
Page 5/26 of the Constitution reproduces Paragraph 74 of the National Conditions of Service for APT&C staff:-
“Information concerning officers’ private affairs shall not be supplied to any person outside the service of the employing authority unless the consent of such officer is first obtained.”
Members Code of Conduct
Paragraph 2(b) - treat others with respect
Paragraph 2(c) – not do anything which compromises or which is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for or on behalf of the City Council.
Paragraph 3(c) - a Member must not disclose information which he believes is of a confidential nature without consent.
Please note that in view of the importance of this matter the Council’s Monitoring Officer has been involved in advising me and, therefore, in the expectation that you will decided to investigate this matter I would request that the investigation be carried out by one of your own Ethical Standards Officers.