On Friday, the SKWAWKBOX highlighted a glaring discrepancy in Sandwell council’s report exonerating council leader Steve Eling – a close ally of right-wing Labour MPs John Spellar and Tom Watson – of involvement in damaging leaks to a local blogger. The report has been described by locals as a ‘whitewash’ – and as ‘falling apart’ after an Eling statement to investigators was shown to be fundamentally inaccurate.
The discrepancy highlighted today was a reported claim by Eling that he did not know former assistant chief executive Melanie Dudley had also been the council’s Monitoring Officer, responsible for the council’s and its councillors’ standards of conduct. The claim was shown to be untrue by an email from the council’s chief executive to all councillors, including Eling, advising them of Dudley’s interim appointment.
Ms Dudley has featured on the BBC this week, stating that she was bullied online after being forced out of her job following her refusal to reverse her ruling that a close ally of Eling committed a data protection breach.
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