Top cop takes legal action in racial storm

editorial image
Have your say

Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes was suspended from duty over his role in alleged false allegations of racial discrimination, it has emerged today.

The revelation was made by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Alan Hardwick, who will come face to face with Mr Rhodes in court tomorrow after the suspended Chief Constable launched legal action against his boss.

Judges will decide whether Mr Hardwick exceeded his powers as Commissioner in suspending Mr Rhodes at a hearing on Wednesday at Manchester Administrative Court starting at 11am.

Mr Rhodes, who was appointed temporary Chief Constable in March 2012, was suspended four weeks ago over what Mr Hardwick described as a “potential conduct matter” and pressure has been put on the Commissioner to explain his actions.

Almost two weeks later, Mr Hardwick announced that Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy had been appointed to lead an independent investigation into Mr Rhodes’ conduct but remained tight-lipped about the nature of the allegations.

But in a statement released today, Mr Hardwick said: “I received an allegation that Mr Rhodes was involved in the pursuit of allegations of racial discrimination which he knew to be a contrivance.

“It was claimed that this was an attempt to force settlement of another individual’s employment tribunal claim with another police force.

“As suspension is a neutral act, I had hoped that the nature of the allegation would not be made public until the independent investigation, led by Sir Peter Fahy, was complete.

“This would have protected Mr Rhodes from undue public scrutiny.

“Sadly, Mr Rhodes is intent on taking legal action against me and thus briging matters into the public domain.”