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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 20:37 GMT
Council boss claims 'witch hunt'
Tom McNeil [Pic: Newsline]
Tom McNeil's claims there was a 'witch hunt' against him
A former council manager was the subject of a "witch hunt" instigated by a woman at the centre of a sex scandal, a tribunal has heard.

Tom McNeil, 52, claims he was forced to quit his job with Aberdeen City Council after he reported seeing the woman having sex with a colleague.

The woman, who cannot be named, was seen having sex with the then director of Sport and Leisure Brian Woodcock.

The couple were seen by Mr McNeil on another occasion engaging in a sex act.

The incidents both happened while on council premises.

Mr Woodcock was later sacked from his post after allegedly sending "inappropriate" emails to the owner of the Garthdee Sports and Alpine Adventure centre in the city.

On appeal Mr Woodcock was awarded more than 100,000 in compensation by the council.

The council claimed Mr McNeil had breached its confidence and defamed the woman after discussing matters relating to the ongoing investigation into the affair with other employees.

But Mr McNeil told the employment tribunal that the affair was public knowledge.

Ill health

Mr Lefevre of Quantum Claims, who is representing Mr McNeil, said: "Woodcock and the woman had been happy enough by their actions in front of staff to brand themselves as adulterers.

"People had been irritated enough by the relationship to write to the chief executive of the council" he said.

The tribunal held in Aberdeen heard Mr McNeil, who worked at the council for 21 years, had a previously unblemished record until the woman made the counter allegations about him being a sexual harasser, a bully and a drunk.

Mr Lefevre said his client was subsequently suspended and later forced to quit his job with the council due to an unreasonably lengthy investigation into the allegations going back 15 years.

Mr McNeil, who worked as a senior manager in the sports and leisure department, was given a precautionary suspension in August 2005 when an investigation into his conduct started.

Mr Lefevre said: "He (Mr McNeil) sees it (the investigation) as a witch hunt."

He said Mr McNeil had suffered with ill health and depression as a result.

The hearing continues.

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