ONE of Scotland’s most senior police officers, who has been on £100,000-a-year “gardening leave” for three years, will return to work next month, it emerged yesterday.
The former Central Scotland Police force’s assistant chief constable John Mauger was placed on leave in June 2010, following allegations of misconduct and claims of insubordination and inefficiency.
It is understood he will work with the newly formed national police force Police Scotland’s Support Division at the force’s Tulliallan headquarters in Kincardine, Fife, and will return to work on Monday 5 August.
Despite returning to a different role he will retain the rank and salary he had before he went on leave.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Following a review by the Scottish Police Authority, assistant chief constable Mauger will return to work in early August.
“He will be based at Tulliallan, at Police Scotland’s head quarters, and he will report to deputy chief constable Iain Livingstone.”
ACC Mauger had joined the Central Scotland force in February 2009. The 50-year-old became the Central Scotland force’s second in command after 25 years’ service with the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police.
When he moved to the Stirling-based force, chief constable Kevin Smith said: “I am sure he will make a valuable contribution to operational policing in our communities.”
But it is believed he failed to strike a rapport with Mr Smith, an “old school” officer who joined Strathclyde Police as a finance clerk in 1976 and rose through the ranks to investigate organised crime and murders before being appointed to Central Scotland’s top position in September 2008.
There were also alleged concerns about ACC Mauger’s behaviour and attitude towards other staff.
Since going on gardening leave he has been staying in London, picking up his annual £104,000 a year salary.
In October 2010, the then chief constable of Grampian Police, Colin McKerracher, was appointed to carry out an investigation into the allegations. The five-month inquiry involved interviewing 70 people, taking up over 5,500 hours of police time. A report into the investigation was presented to Central Scotland Joint Police Board prior to summer 2011.
It is also alleged ACC Mauger made a complaint of misconduct against his former chief constable. It is understood this was investigated by the chief constable of the former Dumfries and Galloway force, Patrick Shearer.
However, the report’s findings have never emerged publicly.
Inquiries into the case are estimated to have cost a total of £1 million.