A police force which tried to get back £577,000 it spent defending itself in an unfair dismissal tribunal has been awarded £15,000 - 2.6% of its claim.
Northumbria Police's former legal chief Denise Aubrey, 56, claimed she was unfairly sacked after disclosing private information to staff.
She lost the tribunal and the force began legal action to recoup its costs.
A judge has now ordered Ms Aubrey, who claimed victimisation was rife in the force, to pay back £15,000.
During last year's tribunal hearing, a series of damaging claims were made about former members of the force, including details of alleged affairs, claims of a punch-up at a barbecue and public money being spent on a cover-up.
After Ms Aubrey lost her case, current Chief Constable Steve Ashman said many of the allegations were based on "speculation, rumour and innuendo".
Northumbria Police launched a costs application immediately after the hearing, with Ms Aubrey saying she did not have the money it was seeking to recover.
She said her own legal costs were less than £40,000.
Ms Aubrey was sacked for gross misconduct in 2014 following 20 years of service after apparently telling staff details of allegations involving ex-Chief Constable Mike Craik.
Responding to the costs application ruling, a force spokesman said: "We welcome the ruling of the judge and are glad that some of the money spent on defending the force against these allegations will be returned.
"It would have been unconscionable for us not to seek reimbursement on behalf of our local communities and this much-needed money will now be reinvested back into policing."
Ms Aubrey was not available for comment.