Five to be charged over capital property repairs scandal

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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UP TO five people are expected to be charged within days in connection with Edinburgh’s property repairs scandal.

The individuals, including city council employees, are understood to have been involved in organising millions of pounds worth of repairs in the Capital.

A council source said: “The charges relate to fraud and they are expected to be imminent.”

Lothian and Borders Police declined to comment and said their investigation was ongoing.

Fourteen staff have been suspended over the repairs scandal sparked by claims of homeowners facing hugely inflated bills for unnecessary or substandard work.

Consultants Deloitte, called in by the council to investigate, are believed to have found that people were regularly being overcharged, substandard materials were being used, contractors were being given jobs despite not being on an approved list of firms, confidential information was disclosed to certain firms, and council staff received unofficial payments and undisclosed hospitality.

One source said that while most attention in the scandal has focused on privately owned property, the first charges were expected to centre on inappropriate conduct in relation to letting contracts and involve staff in the property care section of the council, which deals with buildings often owned by the council itself. The final draft Deloitte report was handed to the council last week.

On Monday, Dave Anderson, director of the council’s city development department, was sent home over allegations that the initial internal probe into the scandal, launched two years ago, was not properly pursued.

Mr Anderson, 57, who is paid £123,525 a year and is the most senior council figure to be suspended over the scandal, had initially overseen the internal investigation in 2010 which suggested a single rogue individual was to blame. He will face a disciplinary investigation at a later stage, but, there is no suggestion he is connected to the police investigation into alleged corruption.