AN INVESTIGATION into a senior police officer who was on fully paid "gardening leave" for nearly three years has finally been dropped - after costing the taxpayer more than a million pounds.

Almost four years after a serious allegations of misconduct were made against former Central Scotland Police Assistant Chief Constable John Mauger, the case has been closed.

Mr Mauger was receiving more than £104,000 a year up until last July.

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This is despite not working since June 2010 during the investigation.

The cost of keeping Mr Mauger on paid leave and the hefty legal fees are expected to top £1m.

When contacted the Scottish Police Authority declined to comment on an individual case.