Cheshire East Council has suspended its chief executive pending an independent investigation. The decision followed a meeting of the council’s investigation and disciplinary panel last week.
Council boss Mike Suarez will remain on full pay while an independent probe is carried out.
Howard Murray, the chair of the committee, said: “We would stress that suspension is a neutral act taken in the interests of both the council and chief executive.
“It is important that this investigation is undertaken objectively and therefore it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.”
The council has has provided no detail about what prompted Suarez’s suspension.
In March this year it was revealed at a meeting of the council’s audit and governance committee that Andrew North — the council’s governance and audit corporate manager who started an investigation into a health and wellbeing contract for schools known locally as Core Fit — has departed the council.
Concerns first emerged regarding Core Fit two years ago and prompted a Cheshire police investigation which is still ongoing. The concerns related to procurement rules after the contract to run Core Fit was awarded to Amanda Morris Ltd, a company owned by the personal physiotherapist of the council’s former leader Michael Jones.
In December, the council announced that it would not be renewing the Core Fit contracts.
Last month, councillors also raised concerns relating to a Cabinet report into staff wellbeing. At a separate meeting, some councillors expressed concern at statistics in the report related to bullying. There is no suggestion that bullying was a factor in Suarez’s departure.