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Tribunal right over wrongful dismissal.

A JUDGE has backed an employment tribunal which found a council auditor was constructively dismissed.

Internal audit chief Andy Sutton won his employment tribunal against Flintshire County Council.

He claimed he had been constructively dismissed and victimised as a whistleblower.

He said his investigations were blocked when documents he wanted were refused.

That judgement was challenged at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London before Judge Peter Clark whose full judgment -dismissing Flintshire's appeal -has now been made public.

Judge Clark agreed with the tribunal finding that Mr Sutton,of Wrexham, was ``seen as a problem by senior management''.

He had written directly to councillors voicing his concerns that major investigations were being obstructed.

The tribunal found Mr Sutton was not given proper support by the authority,particularly after he went off work sick.

The authority refused to exercise its discretion and reinstate his full pay after a certain period.

This was a discretion which had been given to other employees on long term sickness.

Mr Sutton resigned from his job by letter on April 3, 2001.

Judge Clark said he had no reason to quarrel with the tribunal conclusion that there was an unfair constructive dismissal which stemmed from Mr Sutton's ``whistleblowing activities''.

At a special Flintshire County Council meeting on Monday, councillors agreed they should take independent legal advice on whether the officers who were named in the appeal judgement should be considered for disciplinary proceedings.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2003
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