Olympic Park Legacy Company calls review of West Ham stadium bid
The Olympic Park Legacy Company has announced two independent investigations in to the controversy which has led to the suspension of one of its directors over the West Ham United stadium bid.
The OPLC, which chose West Ham as the first choice to move in to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games, has appointed auditors Moore Stephens to investigate its own internal stadium procedures.
It is also appointing an independent barrister to look at the nature of the consultancy work that Dionne Knight, the OPLC’s now suspended corporate services director, undertook “without our knowledge or permission”.
An independent barrister will be instructed to conduct “the employment elements” of this investigation, the OPLC stated.
Ms Knight was suspended on full pay on Friday after being discovered to have worked as a consultant for West Ham during the bid to move in to the �486 million Olympic Stadium.
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She was immediately suspended while any possible conflict of interest is investigated.
She had declared “a personal relationship” with a Hammers employee when she started at the OPLC, but told the legacy company of her work at the club only last week, it said.
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Both the OPLC and West Ham have said they were confident that the process had been robust.
West Ham, in a joint bid with Newham Council that was picked ahead of rival Tottenham, plan to retain the running track after moving into the stadium.
The club intends to convert the 80,000-seater stadium in to a 60,000-capacity arena for football, athletics, concerts and community use.
It plans to move from Upton Park in 2014-15.
In a statement the OPLC said: “The Olympic Park Legacy Company has launched an independent investigation into its internal stadium procedures as a result of the allegations made concerning employee Dionne Knight.
“The auditors Moore Stephens have been appointed to carry out this investigation into our procedures. They have put together a team led by their specialist forensic unit.
“We are also investigating the nature of the consultancy work that Dionne Knight undertook without our knowledge or permission. An independent barrister will be instructed to conduct the employment elements of this investigation.
“We will communicate the outcome of both investigations when the work is complete. We remain confident that the integrity of our processes has not been compromised.”