Former deputy chief constable vows to appeal after claiming that ACPO promotion cost him his career.
Former deputy chief constable Derek Bonnard has said that joining Cleveland Police was the worst career move he ever made and has vowed to appeal the decision to dismiss him.
A disciplinary hearing on March 25 concluded that Mr Bonnard had obstructed the criminal corruption inquiry Op Sacristy, inappropriately spent Force funds in relation to a charity bike ride and inappropriately hired a vehicle which he then crashed, incurring a bill of Â£5,000.
It also said he had accepted inappropriate hospitality, failed to adhere to Force policy over a redundancy and misused a corporate credit card.
Mr Bonnard had been suspended for the last 19 months after being arrested on suspicion of corrupt practice, fraud by abuse of position and misconduct in a public office. He was never charged.
In a lengthy statement, the former deputy insisted he was â€œinnocent of everything except perhaps professional misjudgement while undertaking a very difficult jobâ€.
He said he ignored advice not to accept a promotion to assistant chief constable in Cleveland in 2004 following 17 years at West Yorkshire Police.
â€œDespite my ongoing faith in the frontline staff at Cleveland Police, the worst career decision I ever made was to ignore senior advice at the time and join Cleveland Police as an assistant chief constable,â€ he added.
He said he would appeal his dismissal decision and had submitted â€œa number of serious complaintsâ€ over the Op Sacristy investigation to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Claiming that he had been treated â€œappallingly, with scant regard paid to providing a fair hearingâ€, Mr Bonnard said: â€œSadly, during this investigation I have finally learned how powerful and unfettered the Police Service can be if the proper controls are not in place. It appears some take the view that results must be obtained at any cost despite the evidence.
â€œI believe this misconduct outcome was reached as a means to help justify the multi-million pound costs of the Sacristy investigation, against me and many others, that started in 2010 and still continues.â€
He added: â€œI have served as a police officer for nearly 26 years, working with some wonderful colleagues and members of the public over that time.
â€œI am proud of all that I have achieved in my police career and those whom I have worked closely with know exactly how honest and decent I am.
â€œIn my operational service I have saved lives and received bravery awards. I have detected very serious crimes and supported the most vulnerable of victims. In every area I have worked, crime has reduced and I have always served the public to the best of my ability.
â€œAs I move on to my new life I shall resist the temptation to look back in anger at all that has happened. Nor will it ever taint what I have achieved in my professional career as a police officer. Ultimately policing is just a job and I know the truth of the findings against me.
â€œI wish to thank my wife, family, friends and many former colleagues for their faith and constant support through this very difficult period. That faith and support will never be forgotten and I will eternally be in your debt.â€
After sacking him, the Force said Mr Bonnard had failed to take responsibility for his actions and prolonged the misconduct process at great expense. Mr Bonnard claimed he twice offered to resign but the Force declined, preferring to see the matter through to a hearing.
Sacked DCC: ‘Joining Cleveland Was My Worst Decision’