‘Bully’ complaint upheld by panel
The issue in Julia Mulligan’s office was described as ‘endemic’
North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner displayed “bullying behaviour” towards staff, a panel has ruled.
North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner displayed “bullying behaviour” towards staff, a panel overseeing her work has ruled.
Describing the issue as “endemic” at Julia Mulligan’s office, the Police and Crime Panel upheld a complaint from a member of staff, which had been supported by similar allegations from three other people.
Mrs Mulligan has hit back, saying the panel’s conclusions were “regrettable and disappointing and were there a mechanism to appeal, I would certainly do so”.
The complaint had been lodged by a former member of Mrs Mulligan’s staff, named only as AB, with supporting statements from three other individuals “who similarly alleged that they had been subjected to bullying behaviour by the PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner)”.
The report by Coun Peter Wilkinson, chairman of the panel’s complaints sub-committee, and a Conservative member of Hambleton District Council, said while they did not find that Mrs Mulligan had set out to be “a bully”, she displayed “characteristics of bullying behaviour” and there were “multiple examples given within the complaint statements of the PCC reacting irascibly towards various staff in the office”.
The report sets out six recommendations, including the commissioning of an independent staff survey.
It calls on Mrs Mulligan to reflect upon the complaints and undergo leadership training.
Mrs Mulligan, a Conservative commissioner, said she was “shocked” by both the panel’s approach to the complaint and its subsequent findings.
She said: “I take great pride in the service my hard-working team offer to the public. It’s not perfect and there have been some issues, but they are a great team, who share my drive to support the public. I therefore do not recognise any ‘systemic’ issues within the OPCC (Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner).
“Throughout this process I have offered to meet with the panel so they could ‘investigate’ matters – no door has been closed.
“In the spirit of openness and transparency under which I approach every aspect of my work, I again offer this to the panel.
“To draw the conclusions they have, given all the above, is regrettable and disappointing and were there a mechanism to appeal, I would certainly do so.
“On the recommendations themselves, I am happy to consider them, but I would need considerable reassurance that the matter will be dealt with fairly and constructively, not least on behalf of my staff.”
Julia Mulligan: “Were there a mechanism to appeal, I certainly would do so”