THE chief executive of Flintshire Council has accused an anonymous letter writer of ‘cowardice’ after a police investigation into his appointment did not find sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

An inquiry was carried out by North Wales Police centred around the manner in which Colin Everett was given the top role at the local authority in 2007.

It came after a covert recording of a conversation between councillors Aaron Shotton and Bernie Attridge was handed to the force in which a number of defamatory allegations are said to have been made.

However, officers decided to take no further action after interviewing those concerned.

Mr Everett has now written a stern note to all 70 councillors in Flintshire asking for assistance in revealing the author of a recent letter sent to politicians and the press.

The claims about his appointment were among several unsubstantiated rumours about officers and councillors detailed within it, but with no name attached.

Addressing the allegations directly, he said: “Some of you will be aware that my appointment to this role back in 2007 has recently been investigated by North Wales Police.

“The police received a tape recording of an old conversation among councillors, held on council premises, about my appointment.

“The conversation, now in wider circulation, includes false information and it undermines my reputation and standing.

“The police investigated the issue thoroughly and are not taking any further action.

“Not only do I expect to have your trust and confidence, I do need to make it clear that any perpetuation of these false statements by a councillor could lead to legal action against both the individual and the employer itself.

“The duty of care you have as an employing body extends to myself.”

The anonymous letter included reference to the public falling out between Cllr Shotton and his former deputy, which resulted in both men leaving their posts in the Labour administration during the last fortnight.

The leaked recording, which is said to date back more than 10 years, is understood to be part of the cause for the spat between the two former allies.

Mr Everett said officials believed they knew the identity of the letter writer, but did not have proof.

He told councillors it was their ‘duty’ to report the person responsible, before raising suspicions that a senior councillor had disclosed confidential information to them.

He added the allegations against officers were without basis and some had been given counselling because of the upset caused.

Mr Everett added: “The anonymous letter in question includes false and defamatory material.

“The letter writer has no interest in assisting the council and is clearly motivated by malice.

“In this instance for the letter writer to conceal their identity is cowardice.

“The wide circulation of a letter of this type has caused untold damage to those to whom it refers.

“We have spent much of this week offering support and counselling to the officers referred to.

“Gareth (Owens, monitoring officer) and I can give you a firm assurance that any allegations, where there is legitimate cause for concern, have already been investigated and found to be without substance.”

Following the police investigation, it is understood Mr Everett has now raised a grievance against some of those involved.

A special committee of councillors was convened to discuss it during the private part of a meeting held on Tuesday.

Confirming details of police inquiries Detective Inspector Chris Bell, of North Wales Police, said: “We received a report of alleged misconduct in public office at Flintshire County Council.

“A number of individuals attended voluntary interviews under caution and following a thorough investigation it was concluded that there was not enough evidence to proceed.

“The investigation has closed and no further police action taken.”

Cllr Attridge and Cllr Shotton have been asked to comment.