Cheshire East’s suspended chief executive, Mike Suarez, resigned from the council (on Monday 9th July) with immediate effect – just days before a two-day disciplinary hearing was due to commence.
Councillor Margaret Simon, acting chair of the cross-party investigation and disciplinary committee of Cheshire East Council, confirmed that the two-day disciplinary hearing, which was due to commence this week, was to consider allegations in relation to Mr Suarez.
“The IDC reconvened at Macclesfield Town Hall at 10.30am today. However, as the IDC can only deal with matters in relation to existing statutory officers of the council, there is no need to proceed with the disciplinary hearing, due to the resignation of Mr Suarez.”
Mr Suarez didn’t give his reasons for resigning, in a confirmation letter to the Macclesfield Express, but thanked staff, residents, town, parish and other councillors for their well wishes.
“Setting aside my reasons, I just wanted to thank all those staff, residents, businesses, partners and town and parish and other councillors who have offered me their sincere support and well wishes over this period,” said Mr Suarez.
“I am very grateful to staff, residents and partners for their significant contributions over my time at Cheshire East. Without them, the council could not have come out of OFSTED intervention, delivered a new state of the art leisure centre at Crewe or secured a future HS2 Station, or successfully delivered such impressive Community events such as the Tour of Britain.”
“I was also very impressed with CEC staff and the recognised trade unions at Cheshire East and the way they were prepared to support the creation of new forms of service delivery, from Limited Companies to a Leisure Charity. These new arrangements helped to improve services and value for residents and ensured a strong, albeit different form of ‘going concern’, for the staff involved.”
“Despite circumstances, I still think Cheshire is a great place to live and work with a great community here. I wish the staff at Cheshire East and its partners all the best for the future.”
Mr Suarez was suspended in April 2017, on his full salary of £158,015, by Cheshire East Council’s investigation and disciplinary committee (IDC). Cheshire East have stated that Mr Suarez’s resignation means their investigations into him will now be brought to a close.
Two other top officers were suspended by the investigation – former head of legal services, Bill Norman (who resigned in December last year) and chief operating officer Peter Bates – who is still under suspension. Investigations related to Mr Bates will continue.