Durham's elected police tsar is at the centre of watchdog investigation over allegations he accepted benefits he was not entitled to.
Ron Hogg, Durham’s police and crime commissioner (PCC), is the focus of an investigation launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
He has been accused of knowingly accepting benefits to which he was not entitled during his time as Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police.
The investigations is the fourth IPCC inquiry into allegations against PCCs since the first elections for the newly-formed role were held in November last year.
Labour PCC Mr Hogg, who worked as a police officer for more than 30 years, joins PCCs for Lancashire, North Wales and Hampshire as being subject to an IPCC investigation.
Yesterday, he released a statement in which he denied any wrongdoing, saying: “I will fully co-operate with the IPCC investigation and I am confident that they will find I have acted in good faith throughout.
“Remuneration I received when working for Cleveland Police was determined by Cleveland Police Authority. I took no part in the decision-making process over the remuneration I received.” The allegations against Mr Hogg were referred to the IPCC by Durham’s Police and Crime Panel – the body responsible for publicly scrutinising the actions and decisions of the PCC.
The panel received information from officers working on Operation Sacristy, an ongoing criminal investigation into individuals with past and present associations with Cleveland Police Authority.
Following an assessment of the referral, the IPCC launched its own independent investigation, to be overseen by Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone.
Mr Dipple-Johnstone said: “The IPCC investigation will look at whether benefits Mr Hogg received before his departure from Cleveland Police were properly in line with rules in place at the time. We will carry out a thorough and independent inquiry to establish the facts before deciding whether any matters should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for its consideration.”
Mr Hogg, who lives in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, rose through the ranks at Cleveland Police and won national recognition for his expertise in policing football.
On Sunday, he threw his weight behind Durham chief constable Mike Barton’s claims that the war on drugs had been lost and illegal substances should be decriminalised.