unless and until…
Former Thanet council leader Sandy Ezekiel has been arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office. Mr Ezekiel, who represents Cliftonville East ward for the Conservative Party, was arrested on 5th October. He was interviewed by police at his home.
Mr Ezekiel, 58, said he was unable to discuss details of the allegations for legal reasons, but confirmed he had been aware of an issue since May. He said:
“There is no wrongdoing on my part. This is the kind of thing you have to put up with if you are involved in local politics, it’s as simple as that.”
Another man, aged 63 from Margate, has also been arrested in connection with the same allegations. He is not a public official or thought to be connected with Thanet council in any way. Neither Mr Ezekiel, of Crow Hill, or the other man has been charged with any offence. Both men have been released on police bail until January 25, pending further investigations.
Mr Ezekiel has been a district councillor since 1999. He was re-elected in May’s district poll with 1,187 votes – the most in the ward. He was leader of the council for seven years. As well as holding a seat on the council, Mr Ezekiel is a member of the Joint Transportation Board. Mr Ezekiel stepped down from the council’s top elected role in March last year.
The reins of power were passed to Bob Bayford, who beat John Kirby in a poll of Conservative members to the post. Mr Bayford confirmed he was aware of the arrest but added:
“It would be totally inappropriate to make any comment at this stage.”
IoT Gazette 18th Nov 2011