Ex Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini took a golden goodbye payment on top of a slew of jobs since leaving Crown Office. THE latest annual accounts of Scotland’s institutionally inept Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) have revealed that the controversial figure of former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC (born McPhilomy) received a whopping TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND POUNDS of public money in a ‘golden goodbye’ deal after leaving her Crown Office post, even though the ex Law Chief has scooped up a number of lucrative jobs such as babysitting Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond as his personally appointed Ministerial complaints adviser. More recently, Dame Elish Angiolini was also appointed to the post of Principal of St Hugh’s College, Oxford.
The staggering amount of public money thrown at the former Lord Advocate, despite her numerous high profile roles, which also include jobs in the legal world, has staggered many at a time of public austerity, coming at a time where intense scrutiny of Scotland’s failed prosecution service has revealed a number of high profile blunders in failed criminal prosecutions and dropped investigations involving members of the legal profession and relatives of Crown Office staff caught up in allegations of multi million pound legal aid frauds.
The Crown Office have not issued any public comment on the payoff to Dame Angiolini, who is currently involved in a bitter legal fight against the anti abuse campaigner & journalist Robert Green, reported earlier by Scottish Law Reporter, HERE. Significant questions remain over who is actually paying for the former Lord Advocate’s legal action against Mr Green, which stems from his reporting & campaigning for an inquiry into abuse allegations made by Hollie Greig, a downs syndrome victim who has alleged she was abused by several individuals in the Aberdeen area.
The pursuit of Mr Green by Scotland’s Crown Office, on the orders of the former Lord Advocate resulted in Scotland’s most expensive ever Breach of the Peace trial which saw a record HALF A MILLION POUNDS spent on the investigation & trial of Mr Green, a case which tunnelled through the Scottish Courts system for over two years at huge cost to taxpayers.
The Mail on Sunday reports :
By Andrew Picken
SCOTTISH POLITICAL EDITOR
SCOTLAND'S most senior law officer was handed a taxpayer-funded 'golden goodbye' worth £28,000 after quitting her top role.
Dame Elish Angiolini stood down as Lord Advocate last year - but we can reveal she walked away with a tax-free 'resettlement grant'.
The generous grants-- unheard of in the private sector - are traditionally given to MPs, MSPs and Government ministers to help ease them back into the 'real world' after leaving office.
Cash-strapped Crown Office bosses yesterday said Dame Elish, who earned £114,000 a year, was entitled to the payout under Holyrood rules - but the news was met with fury elsewhere.
Since leaving her post the former solicitor has worked in a number of lucrative posts as a member of the top firm of advocates Terra Firma, a visiting professor at Strathclyde University and chairing a Government commission on female offenders.
The Glaswegian, the first woman to become Lord Advocate, will also start a new full-time post as principal of St Hugh's College at Oxford University later this month.
The payout is revealed in the Crown Office's latest annual accounts, which warn the organisation is operating within 'significantly reduced funding'.
The accounts also show that deputy chief executive Dr Peter Collings was allowed to 'partially retire' but now earns the same for working a three-day week because of his lucrative pension payments.
Last night, critics hit out at Dame Elish's five-figure 'golden goodbye'.
Eben Wilson, head of campaign group Taxpayer Scotland, said: 'There should be serious questions about why this was paid and why it was so much.'Our legal profession is always complaining about the lack of money in the court system so why was it necessary to make this payment to a person who was leaving of their own accord to pursue other opportunities. 'It's always worrying when we have to find these things buried in reports. Why do we not have where taxpayers' money is being spent out in the open.'
Recent reforms of the resettlement grant process have made the controversial 'golden parachute' payments for Scotland's MSPs more generous.
MSPs who have served three terms at Holyrood but do not return after an election will receive £57,520 - twice as much as many would have got under previous rules.
The first £30,000 of the publically-funded grant is tax free.
The same provisions allow Government 'office holders' a payment representing 25 per cent of their salary - £28,499 in the case of Dame Elish.
Dr Collings, who had been earning between £105,000 and £110,000, saw his salary drop to around £65,000 but his £1 million pension pot means his income is now topped up with an annual pension of between £40,000 and £45,000.
The 2011-12 Crown Office accounts show that a total of 43 staff shared an early retirement payout pot of £2.4million last year.