WIRRAL Council’s suspended director of law is to leave the authority with a pay-off totalling £150,000.
Bill Norman was told to go home and await the outcome of an investigation amid a damning report by a council watchdog over a multi- million pound highways contract in July.
He was suspended along with former acting chief executive Ian Coleman and acting head of finance David Taylor-Smith.
The council said all three had “statutory and line management responsibilities for the corporate governance functions where failings were identified”.
The investigation has now found Mr Norman had no case to answer.
The director of technical services David Green was suspended earlier in the year while the investigation continued. He and Mr Taylor-Smith remain suspended.
Also leaving the council is the head of the internal audit section David Garry at a cost of £46,584 – including a £35,256 severance payment.
This opens the way for the council to share internal audit with Liverpool Council.
Wirral council’s chief executive Graham Burgess confirmed talks were at “an advanced stage”.
The move comes as the council attempts to reinvent itself following a series of damning reports which criticised the way it was run and managed in recent years – and against a massive budget deficit.
Following the investigation by external investigator Richard Penn, Mr Coleman left earlier this month with a payment to his pension of £82,500 after councillors were told a legal dispute could cost more than £1m.
The council confirmed Mr Norman will also be leaving with a termination payment of £122,848, £28,566 redundancy and legal costs.
Mr Burgess said the decision to allow the officers to leave would save Wirral around £350,000 a year, making it a cost-effective move.
He said the council’s investigation and disciplinary committee found Mr Norman had no case to answer and should be allowed to return to work.
But while he was suspended the authority began its management restructure and “against that background Mr Norman indicated a wish to leave”.