Fringe Box



Letter: Many Consider The Hooper Investigation A Whitewash

Published on: 17 Jun, 2015
Updated on: 17 Jun, 2015

MJ Old BaileyFrom David Roberts

It was not, as claimed, Dr Hooper’s call to decide not to reopen his investigation into the complaint against Monika Juneja, once the council’s monitoring officer, Satish Mistry, had seen the Bar Council’s second letter.

Since Hooper had been hired by GBC in the first place he should have been instructed by the council to re-open the inquiry.

The council should also have passed the letter to the police, since it amounted to written evidence that a criminal offence had been committed by a leading councillor. They could also have involved the council’s standards committee which, at that point, had not met for years.

All this was suggested to the monitoring officer at the time, but apparently, no action was taken.

Cllr Jackson’s claim that it took the “greater investigative powers of the police” to uncover the truth is also untrue. Ms Juneja’s imposture was originally uncovered quite easily by a private resident.

The report written by Dr Hooper, a qualified solicitor, failed even to mention to the Legal Services Act [2007] offence of masquerading as a barrister, and made no attempt to verify the forged legal qualification which Ms Juneja provided. It simply exonerated her from all wrongdoing – legal and ethical.

Between the draft version of the report and the final version, after Dr Hooper had consulted the council, this deeply flawed conclusion was considerably strengthened.

Many think this was all a deliberate whitewash and cover-up. A full, independent review of the council’s handling of the case is therefore essential to establish what went wrong and what lessons there are for the future.

The Annual Governance Statement shows that the council are still in denial that anything at all went wrong. This bodes badly for the future defences against corruption in Guildford.

Some will be delighted Juneja has not gone to jail, many will find it too lenient. Personally, I think her sentence is reasonable but compassion in this case, I suggest, should be reserved for the victims of Juneja’s crimes and those traduced by lies about a vile, racist campaign of abuse against her.

The council have formally confirmed to me that they do not have, and have never seen, the thick “lever-arch file” of abusive correspondence which Cllr Mansbridge testified (under oath at the Old Bailey last month) to have in his possession.

I have emailed Cllr Mansbridge himself to disclose it but, alas, have not had the courtesy of a reply. Many might question its existence.

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Responses to Letter: Many Consider The Hooper Investigation A Whitewash

  1. Mary Bedforth Reply

    June 18, 2015 at 8:27 am

    The Augean stables at Millmead must be cleansed and resignations offered and accepted.

    What has been the effect of this shaming saga on the officers and staff of GBC? A lowering of morale surely.

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