Met PR chief resigns amid gross misconduct claim

The Met’s director of public affairs Dick Fedorcio has announced his resignation after it emerged the force was planning to initiate proceedings for gross misconduct.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an investigation into Fedorcio’s relationship with former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis in July 2011, focusing on the circumstances surrounding Wallis’s appointment as a communications consultant.

Today the IPCC said the investigation – which was concluded in January – had concluded Fedorcio had a case to answer. After the report was sent to the Met’s directorate of professional standards the force last week proposed to initiate proceedings for gross misconduct.

IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said she agreed with the proposal, adding: ‘In light of Mr Fedorcio’s resignation today, those proceedings cannot now take place and I propose to publish our investigation report detailing our findings, in the next few days.”

A Met statement said: ‘Dick Fedorcio, our Director of Public Affairs for the past 14 years, has taken the decision to leave on 31st March 2012. During that period he has made a very significant contribution to the work of the MPS.”

The force paid Neil Wallis £24,000 for communications advice between October 2009 and September 2010.

Fedorcio has been on extended leave from Scotland Yard since August pending the results of the investigation

Last August it emerged that 10 of the 45-strong staff at the director of public affairs office had previously worked at the News of the World and that the force had hired former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis’s daughter.

When he gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in March Fedorcio revealed how he let the NoW’s crime editor Lucy Panton write and email an article about former Metropolitan Police commander Ali Dizaei from his computer at the Met.

He also told the inquiry how he negotiated the loan of a police horse to retired former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, which he thought would result in positive media coverage for the Met.

Brooks, who was at that time editor of The Sun, rang him in September 2007 to say she was interested in offering a home to one of the force’s horses and Fedorcio arranged for Brooks to visit the police stables.

The hearing was also told that Fedorcio’s son Alex did work experience at The Sun while at school in 2003 or 2004 and again after university in 2007.

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