Payments of around £500,000 made to the former chief executive of One Connect Limited are being investigated by police as part of an inquiry into ‘financial irregularities’ at Lancashire County Council.
David 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.
It covered his two-and-a-half days work a week between May 2011 and March 2013 as the head of the partnership (OCL) between the county council and BT.
Mr McElhinney resigned at the end of August, saying it was “time to move on after four long years”.
The payments were then discovered during a routine check of finances by County Hall’s treasurer.
The authority launched an investigation and has now made a complaint to Lancashire Police.
Det Chief Supt Clive Tattum said: “The constabulary has received a referral from Lancashire County Council which outlines concerns in relation to a number of financial irregularities. We are at the very early stages of investigations into these matters and so it would be inappropriate to comment any further for the moment.”
The probe comes just days after Phil Halsall left his job as chief executive of the county council.
He had been suspended while an investigation took place into alleged “favouritism” being shown to OCL, in the awarding of a fleet maintenance services contract.
A council spokesman said: “The county council can confirm that, in the light of external legal advice, a number of issues arising from the recent disciplinary investigation into the conduct of a senior officer have now been referred to Lancashire Police.
“The council will not be commenting further at this time.”
The council’s deputy leader County Coun David Borrow said elected representatives hadn’t been involved in the process of referring the matter to the police.
OCL was set up in May 2011 to run various County Hall functions with the aim of saving the council £400m over 10 years. It has around 800 staff seconded to it from Lancashire County Council and BT.