THE Scottish Police ­Authority (SPA) has expressed regret over the lengthy investigation into an assistant chief constable that left the senior officer on fully paid gardening leave for nearly three years.

Former Central Scotland Police Assistant Chief Constable John Mauger was off work from June 2010 until July 2013 after serious allegations of misconduct were made against him.

He returned to the newly created single police force last year but it was confirmed last month that the inquiry had been dropped. The total cost of keeping Mr Mauger on paid leave plus legal fees was said to top £1 million.

Loading article content

In a rare move, the SPA issued a statement, which it said was with the agreement of Mr Mauger, confirming that all complaints and conduct issues had been "discharged" and no further disciplinary action is pending.

It said: "When the SPA inherited this case from the former Police Board it initiated a thorough and independent review which has brought the process to a conclusion.

"It is a matter of regret that it has taken four years to reach this point.

"The SPA understands the impact this case has inevitably had on ACC Mauger personally and professionally."

It added that they and Police Scotland were looking forward to continuing to work with ACC Mauger in the future."