THE departure of the former chief executive of Suffolk County Council cost taxpayers nearly £350,000, it has been confirmed.
Andrea Hill secured a £218,592 pay off – the equivalent of a year’s wages – when she left the authority last month after being cleared of allegations of misconduct.
However, the authority has revealed that it paid an additional £115,670 to investigate the claims and £13,506 in legal fees.
Mrs Hill proved a controversial figure during her three-year tenure after attracting damning headlines for her salary while helping to deliver millions of pounds in cuts to services.
When asked about the extra costs, Craig Dearden-Phillips, a Liberal Democrat councillor who represents the Hardwick division, in Bury, said: “Like anyone else I find the figures pretty eye watering but the truth is that to do it any other way would have cost a lot more. It was really important that this whole business had a line under it and didn’t drag on .”
Cllr Sandy Martin, leader of the Labour Group, said: “We (the Labour group) wouldn’t have employed her at the inflated salary she was given.”
Former director for economy, skills and environment Lucy Robinson has since been appointed as the council’s interim chief executive while a permanent replacement is sought. Their salary could be in the region of £160,000.
A spokesman for the authority said: “With new political leadership of Suffolk County Council, it is better to move forward with new managerial leadership.”