Former Cleveland Police chief constable Mike Veale's appointment branded 'disturbing'
Former Cleveland Police chief constable Mike Veale has been appointed as the new interim chief executive for the police and crime commissioner’s office in Leicestershire.
Mr Veale, who is still awaiting a disciplinary hearing following his ten month spell with the force in which he was accused of inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour towards staff, had previously been employed as a paid-for advisor by Leicestershire PCC Rupert Matthews.
Labour peer Lord Willy Bach, the former PCC for Leicestershire, said the appointment was "disturbing and deeply unfair" and said Mr Veale had been "discredited".
He added Mr Veale had always been “hovering in the background, at huge expense to the taxpayer”, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
In response, Mr Veale said he had 36 years of policing experience which he would use to make Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland safer.
Mr Matthews, meanwhile, accused Lord Bach of "unbecoming" political posturing.
He said he believed in people being "innocent until proven otherwise" and Mr Veale had gained the “trust, confidence and respect” of his PCC team.
Last month, Cleveland police and crime commissioner Steve Turner told a meeting that he wanted matters concerning Mr Veale, who stepped down as Cleveland Police chief constable in 2019, “off his desk”.
He said he was frustrated by a “complicated” hold-up in proceedings with no date having yet been able to be set for the misconduct hearing which will rule on what action should have been taken had Mr Veale still been employed by Cleveland Police.
This could include a potential range of outcomes from advice being given, to grounds for dismissal, potentially barring the 56-year-old from taking another police post.
While previously in charge of Wiltshire Police, Mr Veale led an inquiry into sexual abuse allegations against the late Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, known as Operation Conifer.
In 2018 Mr Veale made headlines when he admitted smashing his golf club in frustration at media articles being written about Operation Conifer, destroying a work mobile phone in his golf bag.
He confessed to giving a different account of the incident later to Wiltshire Police colleagues, telling them the handset had been run over in a car park.
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