Council sues employee for £1m over claims she lied in job application

A former managing director who allegedly lied during a job application is being sued for £1m by her employer, it has emerged.

Christine Laird, 52, has been taken to court by Cheltenham Borough Council after it claimed she had lied about her medical history when accepting the job in 2002, according to reports in the Metro.

Laird, who denies the claim, apparently failed to disclose that she suffered from depression, although in 2004 she was absent from work on full pay due to illness, and left the post the following year.

The council claimed that the £85,000-a-year managing director was guilty of ‘fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation’ by giving false answers in questions about her medical history.

Before taking up the post she replied ‘yes’ when asked on a form if she was in good health, and stated she did not see herself as disabled, the council claimed, although she had been taking anti-depressants for years, it said.

The court heard that the £1m claimed included the projected £450,000 cost to the council of Laird’s ill-health pension entitlement, £96,000 legal costs due from previous court proceedings, and £175,000 for cover while she was off sick, according to a report in the Guardian.

Laird, of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, denies the allegations and contests liability. The case continues.