THE bill for a Craigavon Borough Council an investigation into fraud allegations at Fairgreen amenity site has reached £238,000.
Five workers at the Fairgreen amenity site were subjected to an 18-month probe which began in March 2010 following allegations of fraud.
The Times revealed last February that three employees dismissed by Craigavon Borough Council were due to lodge an appeal against the decision.
A ‘covert’ operation ordered by the council at that stage involved the installation of CCTV cameras by a private firm, who set up four cameras, sound recording equipment and a ‘router’ device on a Sunday morning.
But the installation was recorded by the council’s own security equipment in the amenity offices and was ‘rumbled’ by the staff when they reported for work on the Monday.
That led to meetings between council officers and the unions, the equipment was removed and the investigation was delayed from the start.
The men were suspended on full pay in July 2010 with so-called ‘casuals’ employed to carry out the work.
The item had been discussed in confidential business, but the cost of the investigation was made public during Monday night’s council meeting by DUP Alderman Sydney Anderson who claimed if council could afford to spend £238,000 on the “carryings on” at Fairgreen then they should be able to cover the cost of rolling out brown bins across the entire borough.