POLICE have been notified by Lancashire County Council over its investigation of the case of a senior executive who was paid £500,000 in two lump sums for less than two years work, without the authority’s treasurer’s authorisation.
The council is ‘reviewing’ the payments it made in the summer to David McElhinney, the former boss of the county’s One Connect partnership with BT.
The decision to report the issue to the force has been welcomed by Blackburn MP Jack Straw.
However, the police said it had not been officially reported and they were not investigating at this stage.
Mr McElhinney received two lump sums of £231,709 and £275,888 in June and July this year, without the knowledge of county treasurer Gill Kilkpatrick, a council document revealed.
He officially worked for two-and-a-half days a week for Lancashire, and was also receiving an unknown amount from a similar partnership between BT and Liverpool City Council for the rest of the working week.
The report said his salary as a county council employee was ‘£40,000 a year’ ‘plus bonuses’ under a 2011 agreement.
County council deputy leader David Borrow said: “I can confirm that Lancash-ire police are aware of the council’s investigation. As you would expect the council is keen to ensure that proper legal procedures are foll-owed.”
Mr Straw said: “I welcome that the police have been called in to assist with this investigation.
“I think it is absolutely the right thing to do “This is public money and the whole thing is very odd.”
Details of the payments are revealed in a report to the council’s Audit and Governance Committee, which meets on Monday, and is chaired by Hyndburn county councillor Clare Pritchard.
A Lancashire police spok-esperson said: “In September 2013, Lancashire Constabulary was contacted and made aware by Lancashire County Council of their investigation. At the present moment, this has not been officially reported to police, and therefore is not being investigated formally by the constabulary at this time.”