Room with a grace & favour view : John Geates retires with £300K pension then goes back to same job with a £95K salary all on MacAskill’s silent watch. KENNY MACASKILL, Scotland’s Justice Secretary has signed off on the reappointment of John Geates, the Director of the Scottish Police training college at Tulliallan near Perth to the same job albeit in a ‘civilian role’ after Geates retired from his official Police role with a whopping THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUND PENSION PAYOUT. The now retired Police College Director, at only forty nine years of age was allowed to return to his old job just 24 hours later, and will now earn a slightly reduced salary of NINETY FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS A YEAR, while also keeping his luxury grace & favour home on the Police training college campus, reports the Sunday Mail newspaper.
No comment has been offered from the Scottish Government on the quiet reappointment of Geates to the ‘civilian’ version of his old job, a job which was NOT advertised for candidates.
The Sunday Mail reports :
Feb 12 2012 Exclusive by Norman Silvester
A POLICE chief was allowed to return to his old job 24 hours after retiring with a £300,000 pension payout. John Geates left his post as director of the Scottish Police College in Fife on a salary of £110,000 a year. The 49-year-old was back at the same desk the next working day but this time as a civilian, not a police officer.
The “new” job as Tulliallan college director had not been advertised and no candidates were interviewed. Now Geates earns the reduced salary of £95,000 but he has kept his luxury grace and favour home on the campus. No official announcement was made of the move despite it being one of Scotland’s top police jobs.
Geates’s reappointment has caused fury at a time when budget cuts threaten frontline police services. Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald MSP said yesterday: “This is a matter of concern. “I don’t doubt Mr Geates is very good at his job but we have no way of knowing if he was the best candidate as the post wasn’t advertised. It is also not a good example to be showing when officers from the lower ranks are being asked to tighten their belts.”
One senior police source said: “Many top officers in Scotland think this job should have been advertised to allow others to apply.“It is, after all, one of the most important jobs in Scottish policing.”
Geates’s staff at Tulliallan train new police recruits from across Scotland and provide extra courses for experienced officers.
The college is run by the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA), who control forensics, fingerprints, buying equipment and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. Geates has been director since 2007 and in June 2009 was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal at Buckingham Palace. He will continue to live in a wing of Tulliallan Castle, with en-suite bedrooms, kitchen, a dining room, public rooms, its own landscaped gardens, and a corridor that links the property to his office.
When Geates turns 55, he will be entitled to an annual pension of around £56,000 a year, half his old salary, and continue to work as director on full pay. The reappointment was welcomed by Chief Superintendent David O’Connor of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents. He said: “This is a very important time for the police service in Scotland and I am glad that John’s many talents and qualities are being retained.“John will have paid more than 11 per cent of his salary over his 30 years’ service towards his pension and is entitled to the benefits.”
Yesterday, the SPSA defended their reappointment of Geates, who left on July 12 last year and started his new job on July 13. They said they were saving £22,000 a year on salary costs by “civilianising” the post.
SPSA chief executive Andrea Quinn said: “We welcomed the opportunity to retain John Geates in his role to provide vital continuity in a key specialist service. “We strongly believe we had the right person with the right skills and a unique blend of experience for this role. “That we are able to employ him at less cost strengthens that position.”
Geates declined to comment.