Below is the full text of a press release issued earlier this evening by the Plaid group on Carmarthenshire County Council.
This blog is working on a more detailed analysis of the reports, but Cllr Evans is correct to say that the two reports do not exonerate Kevin Madge, Mark James and the rest. In fact some of the information contained in them makes the council's position even worse.
Responding to the statement by Councillor Kevin Madge in which he publishes two sets of legal advice regarding the decision to grant an indemnity to the Chief Executive, Deputy Leader of the Plaid Cymru opposition Councillor group, Councillor Tyssul Evans said:
"We welcome this rare ritual of transparency from the Council's leadership. The Council's statement now refers to three sets of legal advice - The first is from 2008 which strongly advised the Council against granting an indemnity to cover the legal action of the Chief Executive.
“The second refers to advice given verbally to the Executive Board prior to making the decision. We have difficulty in accepting the independence of this verbal information as there is no record of it being given, and it was from the same QC who was representing the Chief Executive in Court.
“The third piece of advice relates to information provided 22 months after the Executive Board made its decision to grant the indemnity. Unless the Executive Board has fortune telling abilities we would suggest that this legal opinion is irrelevant in relation to the findings of the Wales Audit Office.
"Furthermore, the Wales Audit Office saw both sets of legal advice and still concluded that the actions of the Council's leadership were unlawful. The Council has not provided any new evidence.
"The Leader of the Council has promised to publish all information relating to the Wales Audit Office reports. We therefore call on him to now publish in full the report presented to him, former Leader Meryl Gravell, Deputy Leader Pam Palmer and the rest of the Executive Board on which the 'unlawful' decision to indemnify the Chief Executive's legal costs was based.
"Regarding the 'unlawful' pay and pension changes, we call upon the Council leader to publish the report by Total Rewards Project Ltd. - the content of which led the Executive Board to approve the Chief Executive having his pension contributions paid directly to him. We further call for publication of the legal advice the Council received towards the end of last year which led to the arrangement being withdrawn.
"As things stand, the Council leadership has yet to provide the magic bullet which vindicates the astonishing position it is taking in contesting the findings of the independent Audit Office."