A police officer committed gross misconduct by running a car dealership with a man with known associates in organised crime.
An Avon and Somerset Police panel concluded that the unnamed officer would have been dismissed from the force had he not already resigned his post after handling "substantial amounts of money" and receiving a string of luxury cars through his handling of the business.
The BBC reported that the misconduct hearing – held remotely with an instruction that no person or business in the case could be identified – had been told the officer’s business partner had "very dangerous" known criminal associates.
Transactions involving thousands of pounds passed through his bank account from his business partner's companies, the hearing was told, as part of the business activity, which amounted to a breach of professional standards of honesty and integrity, orders and instructions, confidentiality, and conduct.
In a written statement read out at the hearing, the officer – referred to throughout the hearing as Officer W – claimed he had been "targeted in a sustained effort to discredit my name" by senior officers.
He claimed that he did not profit from his association to the car retail business and had no knowledge of associating with persons involved in crime.
Barrister Mark Ley-Morgan, who represented Avon and Somerset Police during the misconduct hearing, said: "This is an area of national concern - police officers associating with criminals - and we have multiple allegations proved."