More than £120,000 of public money has been spent covering costs relating to the suspension and removal of South Yorkshire Police chief constable David Crompton in connection with the Hillsborough disaster.
Police commissioner Alan Billings told a public meeting his office has spent £43,000 on legal costs connected to Mr Crompton’s departure and accrued costs of £78,000 covering the salaries of two interim chief constables since he was suspended in April.
Coun Joe Otten, a member of the Police and Crime Panel Dr Billings was speaking to, asked whether the commissioner believed the costs were ‘proportionate’ given Mr Crompton had been due to retire in November.
Dr Billings said: “The process we have gone through, and you as a panel have been part of that process, has been very long and very drawn out over five months now.
“I think that is part of the reason why the costs are what they are. In terms of that process, I think we need to look at that when we are through all of this and perhaps make some sort of representation to Government about that actual process.
“But otherwise, I think they are totally proportionate.”
Further legal costs are due to be incurred as Mr Crompton has sought a judicial review of the decision to call for his resignation.
Mr Billings said a date for a potential High Court hearing on Mr Crompton’s case is yet to be fixed.
Mr Crompton was suspended in connection with the force’s handling of the Hillsborough inquests, where it has been claimed the ‘adversarial’ approach of police lawyers resulted in the hearings taking double the amount of time they should have done.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel made a unanimous recommendation to call for his resignation with Dr Billings’ official call on September 29.