DRD Permanent Secretary suspended

UTV Live are reporting [added link] that the Department of Regional Development Permanent Secretary Paul Priestly has been suspended pending an investigation.  They also reported that NI Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, described his permanent secretary’s position as ‘untenable’.  Adds From a News Letter report 14 August

Mr Murphy, the Sinn Fein minister responsible for sacking all but one of the non-executive directors based on a report by consultants, has said that he has “full confidence” in his most senior departmental official, Paul Priestly, despite questions surrounding several leaked emails sent by the DRD permanent secretary.

Update  According to the BBC report

The civil service said the suspension of Paul Priestly was to facilitate the investigation and was not a disciplinary penalty.

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has issued a statement claiming Mr Priestly’s position was untenable.

And We have an official statement from the NI Civil Service

The Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Bruce Robinson has suspended Paul Priestly, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Regional Development pending an investigation into events following the PAC hearing on NI Water. The investigation will consider information which has just emerged today.

The suspension, in accordance with Northern Ireland Civil Service personnel procedures, is for the purpose of facilitating the investigation and is not a disciplinary penalty.