Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 18:41 UK

Accused anti-terror chief cleared

John McDowall
Dept Asst Comm John McDowall was one of two senior officers investigated

Scotland Yard's anti-terror chief has been cleared of wrongdoing after an investigation into claims he misused a corporate credit card.

Deputy Assistant Commander John McDowall, 50, was one of dozens of officers whose use of police American Express cards was scrutinised.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission conducted the investigation.

The corruption inquiry was sparked last year after auditors found nearly £2m of expenses were unaccounted for.

The inquiry was led by Dorset Ch Con Martin Baker.

A Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) spokesman said: "The MPA can confirm that the investigation into the expenses of a senior Metropolitan Police officer has concluded.

"The authority's professional standards cases sub-committee was satisfied that no action was required."

McDowall, who played a key role in hunting the failed 21 July suicide bombers, is the head of Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command.

He was one of two senior officers referred to IPCC investigators.

The other was Commander Ali Dizaei, who remains suspended from duty pending a separate inquiry into his conduct.

The officer, who suffers from a serious and debilitating illness, used the card to buy clothes worth about £550 while working on the 7 July inquiry.

Detective jailed

Last year former Det Sgt John Gallagher, 52, was sentenced to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years after admitting misconduct in a public office for abuse of his corporate charge card. He repaid £9,622.

Former Det Sgt Richard De Cadenet, 49, was jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to spending more than £70,000 on his police-issued credit card.

The Met is continuing to complete checks on the spending of 3,500 American Express corporate charge card holders since 2006.

A total of 35 cases, some including spending of more than £70,000, were referred for further investigation.

The MPA has said internal control of payments had been unacceptable and new watertight systems are needed.

An IPCC spokeswoman said the amounts involved in the outstanding cases range from hundreds of pounds to a maximum of about £5,000.

One officer is awaiting trial and eight officers have received written warnings.

Investigations into the remaining referrals continue.



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