Police raid Mid and East Antrim council offices, leaving local councillors ‘shocked’

Computer equipment and documents have been removed from the offices of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council during a police raid, the PSNI has said.

Detectives from Criminal Investigation Branch visited an address earlier today at Bridge Street, Ballymena, as part of an investigation into suspected offences of Misconduct in Public Office and under the Freedom of Information Act 2000,” a police spokesperson said.

“As this is an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

SDLP councillor Eugene Reid said he was “shocked and stunned” at the police raid.

“This sorry episode is the latest in a long line of incidents that have dragged the name of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council through the mud and I have contacted senior council officials to request an immediate update following this raid,” said the Ballymena councillor.

“While other councils are focussed on delivering public services, Mid and East Antrim has been mired in scandal in recent months including the Larne Port debacle, demands for outside bodies to come in and run the council and a large proportion of staff complaining about bullying and harassment.

“I hope the PSNI investigation brings matters to a conclusion and that the council can get back to what matters which is working for local people.”

TUV councillor Timothy Gaston referred to the situation as a “shambles” and added that he is calling the local mayor, Councillor William McCaughey to “publicly address this issue and provide elected members with an urgent update”.

“Once again, as an elected member, I am left dumbfounded that no communication has been provided to elected members explaining the visible PSNI activity in our HQ,” he continued

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