Multiple sources have told me that councillors voted last night to sack TDCs Monitoring Officer, Tim Howes, for gross misconduct.
Howes, who had been suspended on full pay for 15 months was, I am told, sacked for matters relating to a fraud report he submitted to Kent Police in 2020 about former TDC Director of Finance Tim Willis.
Willis left the employment of TDC last year with a non-disclosure agreement of almost £300,000 , a fulsome apology and a spotless employment record.
Willis’ spotless employment record and TDCs public apology raise serious questions about the status of sacked Howes’ fraud report to Kent Police.
I wonder just how secure Howes’ fraud allegations were . Or whether they were part of wider “get Willis” campaign which reportedly flourished following the humiliation TDCs CEO Madeline Homer, when councillors forced her to reinstate Mr Willis following her unfair suspension of him.
As Howes’ line manager the question must also be asked if Homer was aware of his submission of fraud report about Mr Willis to Kent Police and whether, on a matter as potentially serious this, she challenged and tested the evidence upon which it was based. I have no doubt that she was aware of this fraud report.
The sacking of Mr Howes is in my opinion long overdue and a step towards improving the governance of TDC.
But there remains in post CEO Madeline Homer and her said to be lover Gavin Waite. The pair have long been alleged by council staff, former staff, independent investigators, whistle-blowers and the trade unions to be workplace bullies who have created a toxic culture at TDC.
I believe that until Homer and Waite are sacked then the culture and governance of TDC will never be good. That’s why I say One down two to go!
Not being bound by a non-disclosure agreement, and not having received a £300,000 pay out, I would hope that Mr Howes might try to redeem himself by making public what he knows about this remaining senior management team colleagues, the bullying and other matters.