Compensation Hearing Set for Whistleblower; Pounds 26k Legal Costs Plus Personal Pay-Out

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Byline: ELWYN ROBERTS

THE amount a council has to pay a whistle-blower will be decided in July.

A two-day hearing will fix the compensation for former council auditor Andy Sutton.

A tribunal found he was wrongly dismissed and victimised in a case that has dragged on for five years.

Lawyers are currently working on his claim for damages. In addition to legal costs -said to be at least pounds 26,000 -there will be a massive bill for Mr Sutton's personal compensation.

The two-day ``remedies'' hearing has been fixed at the Abergele Town Council offices on July 5 and 6.

Mr Sutton said he was simply looking forward to getting it over with and getting on with his life.

``This could have been sorted out a long time ago if people faced up to their responsibilities in the first place,''he said.

An employment tribunal initially found against the council, then an employment appeals tribunal was held when the authority refused to accept the original findings.

Mr Sutton's lawyers had to prepare evidence for an appeal to the Court of Appeal in London,but at the last minute the council pulled out.

``We are now getting our evidence ready for the remedies hearing. It is important that the taxpayers should realise what has happened and why the legal fees are so high. …