Avon and Somerset chief constable Nick Gargan facing sanctions over misconduct


A police chief will learn his fate at a sanction hearing today after being found guilty of eight counts of misconduct. 

Nick Gargan, the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police, was suspended from his role on full pay in May last year, pending the outcome of a misconduct hearing. 

The private hearing into allegations he made inappropriate advances to female colleagues and leaked internal emails took place last month.

Mr Gargan faced 10 charges of gross misconduct and three charges of misconduct. He was found guilty of eight charges at a level of misconduct.

Chair Dorian Lovell-Pank QC wrote a report of the panel's findings and recommended a sanction of eight final written warnings to Mr Gargan.

Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens will today hold a private sanction hearing with Mr Gargan.

The hearing, at an undisclosed location, will be attended by Ms Mountstevens, Mr Gargan, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and their legal representatives. 

Mr Gargan's suspension was lifted following the outcome of the misconduct hearing and a return to work is being prepared for after today's result.

Following the misconduct hearing, Mr Gargan said: "I accept the findings of the panel and apologise that my actions have fallen below the standards expected of a chief constable.

"I am pleased that the more serious gross misconduct allegations were found not to be proven including any allegation of inappropriate advances towards female colleagues.

"I am relieved and very pleased that my suspension is at an end.

"I am indebted to my outstanding legal team who have helped me through this incredibly long and complex process.

"I am equally indebted to the people closest to me, friends and family, whose support has been remarkable.

"Having learned a lot from this experience, I acknowledge that a lot of hard work lies ahead to move on and rebuild relationships.

"I will approach that in a spirit of reconciliation, humility and public service.

"I await the panel chair's report and my meeting with the police and crime commissioner and will have no further comment to make until then."

Ms Mountstevens previously found Mr Gargan had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

An initial investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) determined that Mr Gargan should not face criminal charges.

The police watchdog originally investigated allegations that Mr Gargan "abused his senior position by making inappropriate advances to junior female colleagues".

During the investigation, Mr Gargan was interviewed regarding allegations of gross misconduct and under criminal caution for alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act.

The independent panel hearing the case included Mr Lovell-Pank, HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams and independent member John Rickard.

Last year, the IPCC decided that the misconduct hearing should take place behind closed doors.