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If you read the election material Steve Turner distributed five months ago to voters in Cleveland you would discover that he came from the area, was a fine basketball player and had three sons.
Clearly that worked at the ballot box as he was elected by a handsome majority as police and crime commissioner.
It pays a healthy £85,000-a-year for what is in effect a part-time job.
What Mr Turner, a Conservative candidate, didn’t disclose may well have had an effect on whether the good people of Cleveland thought him the right man for the job.
Unhelpfully the local Labour MP Andy McDonald said under the cloak of Parliamentary privilege back in the late 1990s that Turner was sacked for ‘’systematic theft’’ and therefore should resign immediately.
Having been rumbled Mr Turner decided to come clean and said that back in the late 1990s he accepted a police caution for theft at the supermarket where he worked and then voluntarily resigned. He didn’t disclose what he was up to or how much he had stolen.
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He described what happened as a ‘’challenging life lesson’’ and said it had remained private over the years so ‘’as not to impact on my family and friends.’’
He claimed the incident did not disbar him from the role, adding that ‘’the insight it provided me on how people can make stupid mistakes informs the way I operate at the PCC.’’
I might agree with Mr Turner if he were being paid out of the public purse for any other state job but one which specifically deals with crime makes me uneasy.
And he knows that because if he felt it would not affect the voters view of him why didn’t he mention it among all the glowing aspects of his CV.
There is a good reason. The voters might not vote for him.
How the Chief Constable of Cleveland will view Mr Turner’s advice would be quite interesting. Basically his job has become impossible. Think you should stand down Mr Turner.
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