Cleveland Police have suspended a senior member of staff after the Independent Police Complaints Commission announced an investigation into allegations of misuse of public funds.
The police watchdog is investigating claims that unauthorised payments were made to an outside company by Assistant Chief Officer Ann Hall, who is responsible for the Cleveland force's finance and commissioning.
The payments, said to have been made to an executive coaching company between July 2010 and October 2011, are thought to amount to thousands of pounds.
Cleveland Police are also carrying out an independent investigation, alongside the IPCC enquiry.
In a statement, the IPCC said:
– IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts
"Any allegations of misuse of public funds is serious and must be investigated.
"Given the recent history of Cleveland Police....I can appreciate that news of this investigation may cause some concern among the public.
"I can assure them this investigation will be thorough and conducted as quickly as possible.”