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Yard PR chief broke rules to hire former NoW executive
12 April 2012
Two former senior Scotland Yard staff were criticised today over “poor judgment” for their links with an ex-News of the World executive who is accused of phone hacking.
Dick Fedorcio, the Yard’s PR chief who resigned last month, breached a series of Met policies in hiring Neil “Wolfman” Wallis on a £1,000-a-day contract including speech writing for the Commissioner.
A separate report criticises former assistant commissioner John Yates, who also stepped down over the phone hacking scandal, over how Wallis’s daughter was appointed to a Met job.
Wallis’s firm Chamy Media was paid £24,000 by the Met for communications advice between October 2009 and September 2010. The former NoW executive was arrested on suspicion of phone hacking last July, but has not been charged.
The probe by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found Wallis had already started work for the Met before a contract was agreed and Mr Fedorcio failed to make sure he was vetted to work with the police.
In another report, the IPCC found Mr Yates showed “poor judgment” when he emailed the head of personnel a CV of Wallis’s daughter Amy. He stated she was the daughter of a “great friend (and occasional critic) of the Met”.
The IPCC found no evidence Mr Yates influenced her appointment — but concluded that to more junior staff the email appeared to be an instruction to find her a job. Its deputy chairwoman Deborah Glass said there was no evidence of corruption in either case.
But she added: “In both we found that policies were breached, and in the case of the former Director of Public Affairs, Dick Fedorcio, there was a case to answer in relation to misconduct.”
Ms Glass added: “Senior people appear to have been oblivious to the perception of conflict. It is clear to me that professional boundaries became blurred, imprudent decisions taken and poor judgement shown.” The IPCC also found that Wallis’s appointment was kept secret from senior Met press officers. He should have received anti-terror vetting clearance but did not.
The report states: “It is impossible to establish with any certainty what Mr Wallis did for his £2,000 a month.”
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