Top Gloucester council man suspended during nepotism probe
A KEY leader in Gloucester's regeneration has been suspended from work during an investigation into allegations family ties were unfairly used to appoint a council worker.
Phil Staddon, Gloucester City Council's director of regeneration, was suspended from work on Wednesday, The Citizen has learned.
As we revealed last month, three council workers were suspended two months ago amid allegations of nepotism at the council.
Two managers and an officer remain suspended and it is understood questions have been raised over Mr Staddon's possible involvement in the investigation into that case.
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Mr Staddon has worked for the council for around 12 years and the brief of his £85,000-a-year post covers the transformation of the Docks and the city centre. He is highly thought of by many council members, all of whom were understood to have been told on Thursday about the development.
Council leader Paul James said: "He is a very good officer who has been a big part of the regeneration of Gloucester over the past 12 years. There is an investigation ongoing and it's an internal matter, which I hope can be dealt with quickly and fairly."
None of the four suspended council employees have been found guilty of wrongdoing.
A council insider told The Citizen the suspensions were unsettling for staff, and the employees themselves, who are not allowed to come to work while the investigation continues.
"We have been told nothing apart from that it's an internal matter and the investigation is ongoing," said the insider. Staff want to know what's going on but that's all we have been told. It must be very distressing for all the individuals concerned."
The insider said the investigation relates to allegations made about a member of staff employing a member of their family and procedures not being followed.
A council spokesman said: "This is an internal matter that is currently the subject of an internal investigation."
Mr Staddon could not be contacted for comment.