Police remove IT equipment from former leader of Lancashire County Council's office (From Chorley Citizen)
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Police remove IT equipment from former leader of Lancashire County Council's office
5:00pm Saturday 22nd March 2014 in East Lancashire
FORMER Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver last night revealed police investigating alleged ‘financial irregularities’ relating to the authority’s ‘One Connect’ joint venture with BT had taken his computer for examination.
The IT equipment was removed from his County Hall office in Preston with his permission.
It follows computer equipment being taken from two premises belonging to Liverpool Direct – a similar operation involving the telecoms firms and Liverpool City Council.
Last month, police visited a property linked to David McElhinney, boss of both joint ventures, and Phil Halsall, former county chief executive.
He was in charge when payments of more than £600,000 were discovered to have been made to Dr McElhinney without the county treasurer’s knowledge.
Coun Driver said: “Lancashire Police have taken the computer from my office at County Hall.
“Initially, they asked county council officials to secure my office.
“They said they were going to get a judge’s order to take the computer.
“I told them not to bother as they could take it with my permission, which they have now done. I have nothing to hide.
“I am happy to co-operate fully with this police investigation which I am confident will exonerate me.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We have no comment to make on the progress of this complex and ongoing investigation.”
A county council spokesman said: "We are co-operating fully with the police in their investigations but as this is an active enquiry it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time."