Seaton Town Clerk suspended pending investigation

Mystery surrounds the reasons for removing council offical from his post

SEATON’S Town Clerk has been suspended from his job, pending an investigation.

David Mears was removed from his post following a meeting of the town council’s personnel committee on Friday night.

It is understood the decision came after members went into private session to discuss a number of “strictly confidential” items.

The personnel committee deals with, amongst other things, the appointment of staff and their salaries.

Yesterday Mayor Bob Palacio issued a statement to The Herald saying the Clerk had been suspended on full pay, pending an investigation by the town council.

He said he was unable to make further details public at this time.

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In the meantime he confirmed that former town clerk Philip Higginson had agreed to take over Mr Mears’ duties on a temporary basis.

Mr Mears was appointed Seaton Town Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer on November 3, 2008.

His duties, as defined by the council, include:

* Carrying out the policy decisions made by the council.

• As chief administrative office being responsible for seeing that the business of the council runs smoothly and in accordance with the law.

• Managing the financial transactions of the council and keeping appropriate records of such.

• Carrying out all clerical and secretarial tasks for the council.

• Guiding and advising the council on matters of law and procedure.

As well as working for Seaton council Mr Mears also served as a member of the town council at Chard, where he lives, for some years, before resigning his seat in December.

At the time of going to press The Herald was unable to contact Mr Mears for a comment.