Controversial payouts to a former County Hall partnership boss will now top £600,000, it has been revealed.
Auditors trying to unravel how David McElhinney was able to earn a staggering wage and bonus package in two years as chief executive of One Connect Limited - without the knowledge of the County Treasurer and members of the new Labour administration - have confirmed the bill will be £92,000 more than was first reported.
A full scale investigation is underway within Lancashire County Council to discover who sanctioned the payments and why top officers remained in the dark until last week.
Deputy leader of the authority, Coun David Borrow, confessed: “From what we’ve heard the whole thing is a peculiar tale. I’m sure the people of Lancashire would like to know the rest of the story, as I would.”
Lancashire Police say they have been informed of the inquiry, but are not investigating at present.
County treasurer Gill Kilpatrick faced a barrage of questions at a meeting of the county’s Audit and Governance Committee yesterday. She revealed she only discovered the full extent of the payments on Sunday night.
“There are a number of issues about the way this happened that give rise for concern,” she said.
“I am currently investigating the matter, who authorised them (payments). My investigations are not complete and it would therefore be remiss of me to provide information to this committee that is not complete.”
It was reported last week that Mr McElhinney was paid £507,597 by the county council, split into two separate payments of £231,709 and £275,888, in the space of a month this summer to cover two-and-a-half days work a week between May 2011 and March 2013. But an additional bonus of £92,858 was also paid to him by Liverpool Connect - who also employed him - and they then billed Lancashire.