Former council leader facing fraud charge steps down from Conservative group
FORMER Thanet council leader Sandy Ezekiel has stood down from the district's Conservative group while he faces charges of fraud and misconduct in public office.
The announcement was made today (Wednesday) in a statement released by the group.
Conservative group leader Bob Bayford, announced that Mr Ezekiel, who continues to represent Cliftonville East Ward, would be voluntarily stepping down from the Conservative Group until the conclusion of legal proceedings.
Mr Bayford said: "Conservative Group rules state that members facing criminal proceedings should be suspended from the Group until such proceedings are resolved.
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However, Cllr Ezekiel made it clear to me that, being aware of this, he wished to step down, in order to focus on refuting the allegations made against him and I fully support this decision."
Mr Ezekiel appeared before magistrates in Maidstone on Tuesday charged with fraud and misconduct in public office.
Philip Emmanuel, of Laleham Gardens, Margate, appeared in the dock alongside him charged with offences in connection with the same allegations.
They were both released on unconditional bail and are due to appear again at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday, May 21.