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Police to review fraud claims

 Published on: 28th March 2014   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category: Uncategorized

Watford Coucillors 2010

Cllr Jagtar Singh Dhindsa

Allegations of fraud against the Labour candidate in the Watford mayoral election are to be reviewed by police. An investigation into the claims against Cllr Jagtar Singh Dhindsa was carried out by Watford Borough Council three years ago and officers are reviewing the investigation to establish if any criminal offences have taken police. A spokesman said if this was found to be the case, a separate police investigation would be launched into the allegations. The chairman of the Watford Labour Party says the move is a blatant attempt to smear Cllr Dhindsa on the eve of the election. The accusations against Cllr Dhindsa stem from a question asked by Liberal Democrat Deputy Mayor Derek Scudder at a council meeting on March 19. Cllr Scudder started his question by apologising to Chairman Steve Rackett for calling Cllr Dhindsa a shyster at a previous meeting. He told the meeting why he had called Cllr Dhindsa a shyster. Cllr Scudder explained: “It was because I was concerned about conclusive evidence I had received that councillor Dhindsa had lied to the council’s internal auditors when his use of neighbourhood forum money was being investigated. “This together with other inconsistencies in the account he gave of how this money had been spent has led me to believe that the council may have been the victim of fraud.” Elected mayor Dorothy Thornhill said the matter should be passed to the council’s chief executive  and Herts Constabulary confirmed they met with Watford Borough Council officer on Wednesday this week (March 26). Mike Jackson is chair of the Watford Labour Party. He said the Liberal Democrats were trying to reheat an investigation of three years ago that was resolved at the time. Allegations of wrongdoing against Cllr Dhindsa were dismissed. Mr Jackson said: “This is a blatant attempt to smear Labour’s mayoral candidate on the eve of the election. It reflects the fact the Liberal Democrats must be feeling insecure about the prospect of re-electing their candidate if they have to resort to dirty tactics as this. I’m not persuaded this is new information – The mayor said Cllr Scudder had been concerned for some time. “I think the timing tells you all you need to know.” Cllr Dhindsa was unavailable for comment.

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