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Police chiefs held in fraud probe

A chief constable and his deputy suspended from their posts after being arrested as part of a corruption investigation are continuing to be questioned by detectives.

The Chief Constable of Cleveland Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard were arrested on Wednesday and taken to a police station in North Yorkshire to be interviewed.

A woman, said to be former head of legal services at Cleveland Police Caroline Llewellyn, was also arrested on suspicion of the same offences. She was later released on bail.

Ms Llewellyn received a pay-off of £213,379 when she was made redundant from her £104,871-a-year job as solicitor to Mr Price, Cleveland Police Authority's 2010/11 accounts show.

The corruption investigation, which is being led by officers from Warwickshire Police, began in May following allegations against present and former members of the CPA.

Mr Price and Mr Bonnard are being questioned on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.

A CPA spokesman confirmed the two men had been suspended from their posts with Cleveland Police while the investigations are being considered.

A spokesman for the authority said: "It should be emphasised that suspension is a neutral act and it should not be inferred from the decision to suspend that the potential conduct matters have been proven in respect to the two chief officers concerned."

The statement said that in suspending the officers the authority is following "prescribed processes and procedures".

It added: "The authority has taken the decision to refer these matters to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)."

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