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Cheshire East's suspended chief executive Mike Suarez resigns

Mike Suarez Image copyright Michael Moore
Image caption Mike Suarez had been suspended on full pay since April 2017

The chief executive of Cheshire East Council has resigned after a lengthy investigation into his conduct.

Mike Suarez had been suspended on his full salary of £158,015 since April 2017 during an inquiry into three of the council's senior officials.

Five separate probes were launched, with one looking at the way contracts were awarded by the council.

In his resignation letter, Mr Suarez did not reveal the reasons why he had quit, but thanked his supporters.

A council spokesman said: "The council's chief executive, Mike Suarez, has tendered his resignation with immediate effect. Mr Suarez's resignation has been accepted."

In his open resignation letter, sent to the Crewe Chronicle, he wrote that he was "very grateful to staff, residents and partners for their significant contributions over my time at Cheshire East".

He added: "Despite circumstances, I still think Cheshire is a great place to live and work with a great community here."

Allegations

Mr Suarez was suspended for all but 12 days of the last financial year, during which time he was paid his full salary and £48,195 in pension contributions.

He will not receive any pay-off, the BBC has been told.

The authority's Investigation and Disciplinary Committee has been examining a string of separate allegations against Mr Suarez, chief operating officer Peter Bates and chief legal officer Bill Norman, who resigned last December.

All three men were suspended in 2017. All three have declined to comment on the allegations.

The council said the suspensions were "a neutral act" but has not commented on the nature of any of the five investigations.

The BBC understands one investigation has been looking at concerns over the way some contracts were awarded by the council, whilst another has looked into the way an alleged whistleblower lost her job.

Reports into Mr Suarez's conduct were compiled for the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee, which is due to meet on Wednesday.

Cheshire Police has also been investigating the way the authority awarded contracts, and last month sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

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