Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010

Protest at council chief's payout

Protesters called on the council to stand down and face re-election
Protesters called on the council to stand down and face re-election

Protesters angered by the reported £250,000 pay-off given to the chief executive of Shetland Islands Council have gathered in Lerwick.

The local authority announced on Wednesday that David Clark, who became its chief in June, was leaving by "mutual agreement".

Controversy surrounded Mr Clark's nine months in the job.

About 50 protesters called for the council's leadership to stand down and face re-election.

A row first erupted last summer when Mr Clark tried to do away with the post of assistant chief executive.

He was investigated in October over allegations he verbally threatened a councillor with violence during a phone call.

Although an outside inquiry cleared him, police have now submitted a report to the procurator fiscal, after interviewing two new witnesses.

David Clark
David Clark has parted company with Shetland Council

The protest was a second in a less than a week.

Before the demonstration, protester Kathy Greaves said: "It is not just this latest debacle over the chief executive's large payout but the many other mistakes they have been making over the past few months and years.

"This is our opportunity to show the council we want them to stand down and stand again for re-election."

The council has so far refused to confirm the details of the payment to Mr Clark.

Council convener Sandy Cluness said he understood the public's concerns but pointed out that an inquiry by Audit Scotland into how the authority handled the matter would be made public in time.

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