Jan 8 2012 by Fionnuala Bourke, Sunday Mercury A TOP police boss has been forced to resign after making an unauthorised £200 expenses claim for a hotel stay for himself and a female colleague. Derek Smith (above), director of finance and resources for West Midlands Police, quit his £121,000-a-year post after a misconduct inquiry was launched by the force. Police have confirmed that the female colleague is also facing an internal investigation into her conduct. Derbyshire Police had been called in to investigate allegations made against qualified accountant Mr Smith, who was also a civilian member of the Association of Chief Police Officers. But he resigned at the end of October, before the inquiry team concluded its probe. He has since offered to pay back the £200 he claimed for one night’s hotel stay in Manchester, travel, drinks and food. It was not linked to any police-related event. A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: “West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Unit was made aware of an allegation of misconduct towards the end of 2011. “The allegation concerned the use of public funds in connection with expenses, travel and accommodation. “To ensure a totally independent inquiry, the investigation into these allegations was referred to another force – Derbyshire Police – which presented its findings in early November. Responsibilities “However, in the meantime the individual concerned has decided to tender his resignation. This has been accepted as it is in the best interest of the force.” Mr Smith had spent 20 years with the force. He was made director of finance and resources in 2008. His responsibilities included managing the human resources department, the police estate and its fleet of vehicles. He helped spearhead the force’s biggest ever cost-cutting drive involving the loss of hundreds of police officer and civilian jobs. West Midlands Police have defended their decision to accept Mr Smith’s resignation, rather than pursue costly misconduct proceedings. A spokesman said: “Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, it was felt by the individual concerned, the force and the Police Authority that this person’s position would be untenable. “This decision was agreed by West Midlands Police’s Chief Constable. The chair of West Midlands Police Authority has been fully briefed and the authority continues to work with the force on reviewing the future shape of the senior team. “The value is around £200. The individual concerned has offered to pay this back and this will be accepted.” Neither Mr Smith nor his female colleague were available for comment last night.
A TOP police boss