Fourteen council staff have been suspended ahead of claims they sent one another racist e-mails, it emerged yesterday.
Lancashire County Council has suspended the employees, who work in several different departments, ahead of disciplinary proceedings about offensive and inappropriate e-mails allegedly making anti-semitic remarks. If found guilty of gross misconduct the staff could be sacked.
In a letter sent to councillors, seen by the Lancashire Telegraph, chief executive Ged Fitzgerald said the staff had been suspended for “inappropriate e-mail use” and promised a “thorough and formal investigation”.
He added that the suspensions, which were imposed last Thursday, were normal HR practice for such serious incidents, and warned staff: “Investigations of this nature may result in disciplinary action or in some cases termination of employment.”
Unite union said it had never seen so many people suspended all at once.
The investigation will begin today when staff return to work after the bank holiday weekend.