Scotland Yard media chief quits over phone-hacking

The media chief of Scotland Yard resigned Thursday after proceedings for "gross misconduct" were initiated against him.

London: The media chief of Scotland Yard resigned Thursday after proceedings for "gross misconduct" were initiated against him in connection with the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch`s News of the World tabloid.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an inquiry last year after it emerged Dick Fedorcio had contracted out work to a public relations firm run by ex-News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis.

Last week it ruled Fedorcio, who had been on extended leave while the allegations were being probed, should face a hearing for gross misconduct.

The IPCC said it planned to publish the findings of its report into the relationship between Fedorcio and Wallis "in the next few days".

The allegation came to light amid the phone-hacking scandal, which began with revelations that journalists hacked the phones of celebrities and others to get scoops.

IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass said: "I have today been notified that Dick Fedorcio, the Metropolitan Police Service director of public affairs, has resigned."

She said that in July 2011 the IPCC decided to probe "the relationship between Mr Fedorcio and Neil Wallis, a former deputy editor at the News of the World, focusing on the circumstances under which a contract for senior level media advice and support was awarded to Mr Wallis` company, Chamy Media."

That investigation ended late last year and a report was handed to the Metropolitan police`s professional standards unit on January 10.

Glass said: "Our investigation found that Mr Fedorcio has a case to answer in relation to his procurement of the contract for Chamy Media. Last week the Metropolitan Police Service proposed to initiate proceedings for gross misconduct
and I agreed with that proposal."

But Fedorcio`s resignation means he cannot now face internal disciplinary proceedings, the BBC reported.

The Metropolitan police confirmed Fedorcio would be leaving his post as director of public affairs on March 31 after 14 years in the job.


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