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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Police confirm detectives at Braid linked to Misconduct in Public Office investigation

Police have confirmed that Detectives from Criminal Investigation Branch visited The Braid, Ballymena, as part of an investigation into suspected offences of Misconduct in Public Office and under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The headquarters of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the DUP-dominated local authority has been under intense scrutiny over recent months amid ongoing questions surrounding the Council’s dealings with staffing at the Port of Larne.

More recently the spotlight has been on the internal workings of the public body with accusations from a number of staff centred on bullying and an alleged ‘toxic culture’ at the heart the the organisation.

TUV Councillo𝗿 Timothy Gaston

The attendance of detectives at The Braid facility on Wednesday was brought to light after local TUV Councillor, Timothy Gaston, commented on social media:

“The Mid and East Antrim Borough Council shambles continues.

“After witnessing several plain cloths police officers in the Braid Headquaters today and in particular in the CEO’s office, I have sent the following email to the Mayor of MEABC calling for a public explanation to what is going on.”

Dear Mr Mayor,
Whilst attending the Braid Headquarters today I witnessed several plain clothes PSNI officers in the CEOs office.
Once again, as an elected member, I am left dumbfounded that no communication has been provided to elected members explaining the visible PSNI activity in our HQ.
Please confirm the following:
- What was the nature of today's visit?
- Was there a warrant for entry?
- Was any staff member interviewed?
- Did the PSNI remove any documents or data as part of their search?
While other elected members are content to bury their head in the sand or fail to acknowledge the seriousness of the ongoing issues, I will continue to press for transparency for the rate payer.
I am therefore calling on you to publicly address this issue and provide elected members with an urgent update.
Many thanks
Cllr Timothy Gaston
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s CEO, Anne Donaghy, recently took absence from her lead role on sick leave, understood to be stress related.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s CEO Anne Donaghy

The Chief’s continued absence has been the centre of discussion among Councillors in council chamber with a number demanding answers around the Authority’s leadership and direction.

In a statement, Ballymena SDLP Cllr Eugene Reid said:

“I am shocked and stunned that police carried out a raid at our council headquarters as part of an investigation into suspected offences of misconduct in public office.”

He added that he has contacted senior council officials to request an immediate update.

Regarding today’s visit to The Braid, a police spokesperson said:

“As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

This evening, in response to today’s events, a spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council stated:

“Council can confirm it is fully assisting the PSNI with its enquiries.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, Council is unable to comment further at this time.”


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