Daily Record: Edinburgh Council corruption charges just the ‘tip of the iceberg’

Announcement Date: 29th June 2012

POLICE probing allegations of corruption among council staff and building contractors are expected to make more arrests.

Insiders say the 15 people charged earlier this week in the investigation into repair programmes in Edinburgh are the “tip of the iceberg”.

Four former employees of the city’s property care department have been charged with corruption and fraud.

A further 11, including contractors and family and friends of council workers, were charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering, believed to relate to attempts to conceal payments.

Police are preparing a report for the procurator fiscal on the property care department, which handles maintenance of community buildings and schools.

But a separate report on the statutory notices system, which allows the council to order repairs to private homes, is already with the fiscal, although no charges have yet been brought.

This scheme has been plagued by allegations of bribery, overcharging and unnecessary and poor-quality work.

Our sources said some contractors were involved in both lines of work but the complex statutory notice system meant collusion between staff and contractors was harder to prove.

An insider said: “It was looking into the statutory notices scheme that led them to what was going on with property care staff.”

Former councillor Ewan Aitken campaigned for a full investigation into the repair work. He said:

“I do not believe this will be the end of the arrests and I hope they negate the damage to the city’s reputation.”

To see the original article by Jack Mathieson click here.