Former Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has been told by Lancashire Police that the force is no longer investigating him or four other men as part of Operation Sheridan.
The investigation was launched into alleged financial impropriety centred around Lancashire Council’s BT joint venture, One Connect.
Liverpool Council’s then Chief Executive, Ged Fitzgerald, was arrested in connection with the investigation in 2017 and questioned, along with the former boss of Liverpool Council’s BT joint venture, David McElhinney, ex-city finance chief Phil Halsall, and former Lancashire County Council leader, Geoff Driver.
They were all arrested in relation to their time in posts at Lancashire Council and all denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Anderson, who was Mayor from 2012 to 2021, was interviewed under caution towards the end of 2017 as part of the operation.
He was subsequently arrested by Merseyside police in December 2020 as part of a different inquiry, Operation Aloft, investigating allegations of bribery and witness intimidation linked to building and development contracts in Liverpool. That investigation is ongoing.
As a result of that arrest, Mr Anderson stepped aside as Mayor and said he would not be seeking re-election, although he said that the police investigation would “confirm I have done nothing wrong, and my name and reputation will be exonerated.”
Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Being accused of financial misconduct is very serious and defending oneself against these allegations may require expert advice from a forensic accountant.
“People tend to think that forensic accountants only find evidence of guilt but proving innocence is just as important as was demonstrated in this week’s Panorama programme on BBC1 which highlighted the efforts of forensic accounting firm Second Sight in helping to obtain justice for the hundreds of Sub-postmasters and Sub-postmistresses who were wrongly prosecuted by the Post Office.”