Transparency calls over monitoring officer departure

By Dan Peters | 10 April 2024

Salford City Council’s opposition leader has called for transparency over a settlement agreement The MJ understands was paid to its departing monitoring officer.

City solicitor Iolanda Puzio left the authority at the end of February after just over two years in the role.

Leader of the opposition Conservative group, Robin Garrido, who had not been aware of the payoff, said he believed in transparency and would be raising questions with council chief executive Tom Stannard.

Chair of the council’s audit and accounts committee, Les Turner, who was on the interview panel that appointed Puzio, said he was also in the dark about the reasons for her departure and the existence of a settlement agreement.

He added: ‘I was a bit surprised when I found out she wasn’t coming back.

'I thought she was first class.’

A council spokesperson declined to confirm the existence of a settlement agreement or the amount.

They said in a statement: ‘Iolanda was an integral part of our corporate management and senior leadership teams, contributing to the corporate leadership of the council during that time.

'She will be missed.’

Catherine Parkinson was appointed city solicitor and monitoring officer on an interim basis last month.

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