Camden coroner resigns over hiring wife days before he is sacked
PUBLISHED: 19:38 12 December 2012 | UPDATED: 19:58 12 December 2012
The coroner for Camden resigned on Friday (December 7) just before the decision to remove him from office for hiring his unqualified wife was formally announced.
Dr Andrew Reid was suspended in February when it was discovered that his wife, Suzanne Greenaway, who he had hired, was unqualified.
Ms Greenaway, who gained her experience in Australia and had worked as a lawyer in the UK for less than five years, did not meet regulations of her role as assistant deputy coroner.
During her time at St Pancras Coroners Court, she presided over more than 30 cases, including the hearing into the death of singer Amy Winehouse.
The Office of Judicial Complaints (OJC) investigated Dr Reid’s conduct for 10 months, and the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice had indicated their intention to remove Dr Reid from his position as coroner.
An OJC spokeswoman said today (Wednesday, December 12): “Dr Reid was entitled to ask for a Review Body panel to review the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice’s provisional decision. The review panel recommended Dr Reid should be removed from office.
“However, Dr Reid resigned from his post as coroner and also as a tribunal judge in the Health and Education and Social Care Chamber, before the disciplinary process was formally concluded.”
The OJC decision will make it difficult for him to practice as a coroner again.
During the 10-month probe, Dr Reid received his full salary of more than £70,000, a quarter of which is paid by Camden Council.
Cllr Abdul Hai, the council’s cabinet member for community safety, said they had written to the OJC many times to seek clarification, but the response was always ambiguous.
During Dr Reid’s suspension, Camden was paying its portion of his salary as well as that of Dr Shirley Radcliffe, assistant deputy coroner, who performed Dr Reid’s role in his absence.
“We’ve paid two coroners with taxpayers’ money,” said Cllr Hai. “I’ll be writing to the OJC seeking to recoup the money.
“I don’t think it’s right.”
He said the system should be streamlined as coroners are accountable only to the Ministry of Justice, while local authorities pay their wages.