THE Durham police and crime commissioner said he is “astonished and disappointed” that an investigation involving benefits he received as a senior officer will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been investigating allegations that Ron Hogg, the Durham police commissioner, knowingly accepted benefits to which he was not entitled when he was deputy chief constable of Cleveland Police.
It announced it had completed its inquiry and will pass its report to the CPS.
Mr Hogg, a Labour police and crime commissioner who was an officer for 30 years, said: “When serving as deputy chief constable with Cleveland Police I received three benefits.
“These were awarded by the Cleveland Police Authority in recognition of outstanding performance.
“The benefits were made in accordance with the national performance bonus scheme in place at the time, and I believe that in one instance the decision was made following independent legal advice.
“As an employee, I played no part in making any of these decisions, and thus, I am both astonished and disappointed at the decision to refer this matter to the CPS.”
The IPCC launched an investigation into the claims in October 2013 - one of a number into allegations against PCCs since the first elections for the newly formed role of police tsar were held in November 2012.
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, which looked into alleged corruption within Cleveland Police.
Following an assessment of the referral, the IPCC launched its own independent investigation to be overseen by Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone.
An IPCC spokesman said: “The Independent Police Complaints Commission has completed its investigation into the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, Ron Hogg, and passed its report to the Crown Prosecution Service.
“The CPS will determine whether there is evidence to warrant criminal charges.”