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Council chief hands cleaning contract to wife's company

26 February 2018

The head of housing asset management at Melton Borough council awarded a £150,000 cleaning contract to a company without disclosing that his wife owned it.

Ricahrd Whitmore, 66, and Jayne Whitmore, 58, both admitted involvement in the deception and are facing sentencing at Leicester Crown Court for this, as well as for acquiring £53,736 in "criminal property". 

They are accused of abusing Richard Whitmore's position as a council employee, where he awarded a contract to his wife's company, Clean Jeans. The contract was awarded in December 2014 and it wasn't until June 2016 that it was revealed that Jayne Whitmore was the company's owner. 

The judge, Nicholas Dean QC, adjourned the case for a sentencing hearing in March, with both defendants released on bail until this time. 

Councillor Joe Orson, leader of the council, commented: “The guilty verdict is a welcome outcome. It sends a clear message that we will not tolerate fraudulent activity and that dishonesty does not pay. The council takes any such allegations seriously. As soon as potential concerns were brought to our attention, a professional fraud investigation was promptly conducted and referred to the police. This demonstrates how the police and council work closely together to address fraud and I would like to thank Leicestershire Police for bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”

Mr. Whitmore resigned from the council once his deception was discovered.