Ex-council leader faces fraud charge
FORMER Thanet council leader Sandy Ezekiel has been charged with fraud and misconduct in a public office.
Mr Ezekiel, of Crow Hill in Broadstairs, is due to appear before magistrates in Maidstone on Tuesday.
He faces accusations relating to the sale of two Thanet council-owned properties in Margate.
Philip Emmanuel, 64, of Laleham Gardens in Margate, has also been charged in connection with the same allegations.
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Mr Ezekiel, 59, was charged on Wednesday by officers from the Serious Economic Crime Unit of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate
He is accused of fraud by abuse of position contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 and misconduct in a public office contrary to Common Law.
Mr Emanuel, of Laleham Gardens in Margate, has been charged with aiding and abetting fraud by abuse of position contrary to the Fraud Act 2006.
Both men have been bailed to attend Maidstone Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
Mr Ezekiel, the Conservative district councillor representing Cliftonville East, was arrested on October 5 last year.
The Isle of Thanet Gazette revealed Mr Ezekiel's arrest in November.
Speaking at the time Mr Ezekiel, who has been a councillor since 1999 and was leader of the council for seven years, said he had been aware of an issue since May last year.
He told the Gazette atthe time: "There is no wrongdoing on my part. This is the kind of thing you have to put up with if you are involved in local politics, it's as simple as that."
Ken Goss, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit, said on Wednesday: "I have today advised Kent Police to charge two men in relation to fraud and misconduct in a public office.
"It is alleged one of the men improperly used privileged Thanet District Council information in relation to the purchase of two properties.
"This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors."
Thanet council has 670 property assets in the district, which are currently valued at £65.7 million.