Operation Sheridan: Crown Prosecution Service authorises charges in relation to the alleged misconduct of senior local government officers in Liverpool City Council and Lancashire County Council
The CPS has authorised Lancashire Police to charge four people in relation to the alleged misconduct of senior local government officers in Liverpool City Council and Lancashire County Council.
David McElhinney, 62, Phillip Halsall, 64, and Gerard Fitzgerald, 60, have been charged today (23 August 2022) with misconduct in Public Office and procuring the misconduct of others.
Geoffrey Driver, 77, has been charged with taking revenge against a police witness. All four defendants are due to appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 12 October 2022.
Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “The CPS has reviewed a file of evidence from Lancashire Police and authorised the investigation team to issue charges against four people with offences related to the misconduct of senior local government officers in Liverpool City Council and Lancashire County Council.
“The CPS and Lancashire Police remind all concerned that criminal proceedings against these defendants are active and they have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
Notes to editors
- Operation Sheridan was launched in 2013 following allegations of financial irregularity at Lancashire County Council.
- It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
- CPS prosecutors must also keep every case under review, so that they take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. If appropriate, the CPS may change the charges or stop a case.