Council chiefs have been told to justify “alarming” payments of more than £320,000 to suspended staff over the past two years.
Figures obtained through a freedom-of- information request reveal Dundee City Council has paid out £321,988 in wages to suspended workers since April 2017.
It comes amid a series of high-profile investigations into misconduct by staff, including Mark Conway, formerly the council’s top financial IT expert, who was convicted in 2017 of embezzling more than £1 million.
Council bosses launched an investigation into misuse of property within its environment division in December, just months after a senior staff member was sacked and another had their computer seized in a missing-equipment probe.
The authority suspended 10 members of staff last year, paying them a salary of £191,736 during the period, while eight have already been temporarily removed from posts this financial year, at a cost to the taxpayer of £130,252.
Dundee Labour group leader Kevin Keenan, chairman of the council’s scrutiny committee, said: “It’s alarming at a time when the council is so cash-strapped and there may be further costs in overtime for staff to cover suspended employees.”
North East MSP Bill Bowman said: “Employees have bills to pay while accusations are being investigated.
“But think about how much good that £321,000 could do for public services.”
A spokeswoman for Dundee City Council said: “An employee accused of misconduct may be suspended on full pay for a limited period while the alleged offence is investigated.”