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.

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.