Joy Garner defends decision to leave Staffordshire's Police and Crime Panel
LABOUR councillor Joy Garner has defended a decision to remove her from Staffordshire's Police and Crime Panel.
Mrs Garner, who came runner-up to Matthew Ellis in the election for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), will now take a seat on the fire authority instead.
The Burslem representative said: "Basically we had a vacancy on the fire authority and I was one of the only councillors who could take up the spot.
"The way it has been talked about makes it look like something is wrong but that is not the case."
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The 12-strong team on the Police and Crime Panel will scrutinise the decision making of Mr Ellis.
Mrs Garner's appointment to Staffordshire Fire Authority comes after the suspension of councillor Matt Fry from his role at the governing body which oversees policy and service delivery.
She said: "We are waiting for an internal investigation to take place and meanwhile there is a vacancy there that needed filling.
"After various discussions it was decided that I should take up the post."
Mr Fry, was cautioned for fraud by abuse of position after being arrested and interviewed by Staffordshire Police.
He was suspended from representing the Labour party while it carries out an inquiry.
Mrs Garner added: "I still have a strong interest in the police and it won't stop me working closely with the local police.
"But it is another role and I am looking forward to leading a new brief."