After watching yesterday's shameful events I popped into the Fire Authority's legal department to have a look through some documents.
Unlike at City Hall, the results of investigations into members of the authority are not published on the website.
If you want to see what the likes of Brian, or Bertha have (or haven't) been up to then you have to go into the offices and ask. And you have to know what you're asking for.
The documents I was interested in were the decision notices, which detail the results of Standards Committee investigations into members of the authority.
An official handed me a slim folder with all the notices published (hidden in a file) since the authority was set up.
They told me that one complaint about a member had been "withdrawn" from the file, although no explanation was given for this.
Looking through the remaining notices it soon became clear that there had been a change of policy within the last couple of years.
Whereas previously the names of the accused were included (as they are at City Hall) their names had been removed from the later complaints.
However, I could at least read them. Two were complaints about a suspended councillor's continued role on the authority (Bertha Joseph obviously) but one was even more interesting.
I wasn't allowed to photocopy it although I did take a sneaky picture of it on my phone.
Here's what I transcribed:
ComplaintA complainant alleged that a member of the authority had verbally abused a member of the canteen staff and had on a second occasion also behaved abusively to her.The facts if proven, would constitute a breach of the LFEPA's Members Code of Conduct paragraphs 3 (i) and possibly 3(2) (b)However in light ofa) the lapse of time since the events complained ofb) the apparent fact that an apology on behalf of the member concerned had been conveyed to the member of the catering staff concerned andc) the apparent unwillingness of the member of catering staff to pursue the matter; the Sub Committee decided that no further action should be taken.
This document corroborates my story from last September that
- A member of the Authority's catering staff claimed that Coleman had launched into an "aggressive and rude" tirade against her.
- The woman, who was employed within the brigade headquarters, said that Coleman had reduced her to tears on two separate occasions.
- The brigade's Director of Resources Barbara Riddell personally apologised for the incident on Coleman's behalf.
This "aggressive and rude" behaviour is also why Brian was forced out of his job as Chairman of a National Fire organisation last week.
At yesterday's meeting he told the authority that they could read "an exclusive account" of the "real reason" for his departure in the Local Government Chronicle next week.
The "real reason" is that he is a liability. After yesterday's dreadful publicity, even Boris Johnson should realise that by now.
-Update- I have now obtained a scanned copy of the decision notice. I understand that the decision is currently under review.