Nicholas Long, Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said Sean Price almost got away with deceiving their investigation.
He told reporters that Mr Price had lied and put pressure on a member of staff to lie on his behalf.
Mr Long said the former Chief Constable used his position to order people to do as he wished and said his standards fell far below those expected of someone in his position.
More top news
Burglars broke into a newly married couple's home while they were on honeymoon and stole both wedding and Christmas presents.
North East residents urged to have an alcohol-free January.
A 24-year-old man who swindled millions of pounds from a car dealership and lavished himself with cars and houses has been jailed.