West Sussex County Council has finally admitted its former chief executive has left his post but has refused to give any further details.
In September, the council announced that Nathan Elvery, whose salary was £190,000 per year, was ‘currently away from his duties’.
Now, while finally ackowledging what everyone knew, the council has cited confidentiality and stayed tight-lipped over the ins and outs of the situation.
A spokesman said: “The chief executive Nathan Elvery has now left West Sussex County Council by mutual consent.
“Lee Harris continues in his role as acting chief executive.
“We are not able to say anything further as it is confidential.”
Mr Elvery’s time at the authority was overshadowed by a controversy over a £47,500 payment originally believed to be for him to relocate to West Sussex, although it was later revealed he still owned the family home in Surrey as well as a new flat in Chichester.
A week after Mr Elvery’s absence was revealed, then council leader Louise Goldsmith resigned saying she wanted to give her successor time to prepare for the 2021 election.
However her announcement came a day after a report was leaked suggesting the authority could lose control of its children’s services.
The department was rated inadequate by Ofsted in May and a commissioner has been appointed to oversee improvements. His final report has yet to be published.
Paul Marshall was chosen as the council’s new leader last month.
The county council has recently suffered from a high rate of turnover in its corporate leadership team.
According to its website the following positions are currently vacant: head of transformation, director of environment and public protection, director of communities and executive director of resource services.