BBC: Edinburgh statutory notice scandal: No criminal charges after probe

Announcement Date: 23rd November 2012

No-one involved with Edinburgh’s Statutory Notice Scandal will face criminal charges …

Lothian and Borders Police had been investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in Edinburgh City Council’s property conservation department.

Hundreds of residents have complained of over-charging and poor workmanship.

However, in the initial property conservation department investigation it has now emerged police found no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing.

So far 11 employees across the property service have been dismissed and six are suspended pending disciplinary action by Edinburgh City Council.

Disciplinary inquiry

Earlier this week the director of city development, Dave Anderson, resigned before a disciplinary inquiry into his management of the department was completed.

Edinburgh City Council is up to £40m out of pocket due to the problems in the department.

Detectives were also called in to investigate claims of fraud, bribery and corruption.

However, the case has now been dropped after a report passed to the Crown Office recommended that no further action was to be taken.

Former Edinburgh City Council leader Ewan Aitken has condemned the decision as “unbelievable”, but residents said their main focus was on trying to recover costs from the council and get work completed to an “acceptable” standard.

Gordon Murdie, of Quantus quantity surveyors, who has more than 200 clients who have been affected by the property repairs controversy, said: “This decision has opened the flood gates.

The cost to Edinburgh is almost immeasurable, it will certainly be more than £200m.

[Councillor Ewan] Aitken said:

I’m shocked and deeply saddened. A huge injustice has been perpetrated not just on the owners but on the people of Edinburgh.

I personally have seen evidence of substandard materials being overcharged for, of collusion over changing rates during the tendering process and businesses getting tenders they should not have got because they were outside the procured process.

This is outrageous and I would call on the the council to reopen that investigation.

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