Islington Council appoints interim to cover HR chief suspension

Troubled Islington Council has appointed an interim director to oversee its HR function after suspending HR chief Maria King.

Richard Mycroft has been brought in after King was suspended on full pay following an investigation into complaints of bullying and financial mismanagement.

Mycroft is a former HR director of Merton council, the Passport Agency and the London Probation Service, where his tenure also courted controversy. In 2003, Mycroft was put on ‘special leave’ after it was discovered that hundreds of recruits had not undergone criminal record checks.

As revealed by Personnel Today, four senior members of Islington Council’s HR team have quit in recent months, said to be frustrated with King’s alleged behaviour and delays in concluding the official investigation.

Her suspension followed an inquiry by an external investigator who presented her findings to council bosses last month. A disciplinary hearing is set to take place in the coming weeks.

Council auditors have also been scrutinising financial contracts covering more than £1m of HR consultancy work dating back several years. The disciplinary hearing will also examine whether the correct procedures were followed when appointing external consultants.

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