Inquiry clears Cullinan

Mark Cullinan
Mark Cullinan
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COUNCILLORS have decided that Lancaster City Council chief executive Mark Cullinan did not contravene any of the authority’s policies or procedures when he got involved in a late-night row with a taxi driver.

The council’s personnel committee made the ruling after meeting in private to consider a complaint from Andy Kay, chairman of Lancaster City Hackney Drivers’ Association.

The complaint was not upheld, and committee members also decided that the incident had no impact on Mr Cullinan’s role with the authority.

Mr Cullinan was with a friend, Graham Atkinson, who claimed he had been hit in the leg by a taxi, driven by Andrew Chapman, in a car park on North Road, Lancaster, at about 2.26am on April 23. Police investigated, but decided to take no further action.

Mr Chapman filmed the two men immediately after the alleged incident, and the video was then placed on Youtube, where Mr Cullinan posted three comments.

Mr Chapman filmed the two men immediately after the alleged incident, and the video was then placed on Youtube, where Mr Cullinan posted three comments.

Mr Cullinan also invited interested parties to come and see photos of Mr Atkinson’s alleged injuries on Morecambe Town Hall steps.

Mr Kay said that Mr Cullinan’s actions were inappropriate for getting involved in passing comment, and for making comments on the YouTube video, which has attracted more than 1,100 hits.

Following the personnel committee meeting, Mr Kay received a letter from Sarah Taylor, the council’s head of governance, who said that the committee “came to the view that the complaint has no impact on Mr Cullinan’s role as chief executive, and does not contravene the city council’s policies and procedures”.

Coun Paul Gardner, the committee’s chairman, said he was unable to comment on what was said during the meeting.

A council spokeswoman said it did not comment publicly on matters relating to individual employees.

Mr Kay said he planned to report the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.