Cleveland Police finance chief Ann Hall suspended

Assistant chief officer Ann Hall
Image caption Ann Hall: Suspended from her job

The police watchdog is investigating an allegation a senior member of staff at Cleveland Police misused public funds.

Assistant chief officer Ann Hall is being investigated over suspicions thousands of pounds of public money was misappropriated, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

She has been suspended from her job.

The IPCC said the allegation was not part of Operation Sacristy, a probe into alleged corruption at the force.

Ms Hall, who is responsible for finance and commissioning, is the subject of allegations that unauthorised payments were made to an executive coaching company between July 2010 and October 2011.

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: "Any allegations of misuse of public funds is serious and must be investigated.

"Given the recent history of Cleveland Police and the investigations into former Chief Constable Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard I can appreciate that news of this investigation may cause some concern among the public."

The suspension - said by the force to be a neutral act - follows Mr Price's sacking last year, allegations against his deputy Derek Bonnard, who faces a misconduct hearing on 4 March, and the wide-ranging Operation Sacristy investigation into alleged corruption.

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said he hoped the investigation would be "swift and thorough".

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