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OPLC suspend employee for acting as West Ham consultant

An employee has been suspended from the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) over a possible clash of interests after it was discovered she was working as a consultant for West Ham United during the Olympic Stadium bid. The OPLC board, in charge of securing the future of the Olympic Park site, voted for the Hammers as first choice to move into the £486million stadium.

A statement from the OPLC read: "It has come to our attention that an employee of the Olympic Park Legacy Company has been undertaking paid consultancy work for West Ham United FC.

"The company had no knowledge of this work and no permission was given to undertake it. This individual had no involvement whatsoever in our stadium process.

"The individual concerned had declared a personal relationship with an employee of West Ham United FC when she joined the organisation and we therefore put robust measures in place to ensure our stadium process was not compromised.

"The stadium team has been based at our law firm Eversheds' offices in the City and only the stadium team had access to information about the bids.

"As soon as this new information came to light the company took immediate action and launched an independent investigation.

"The employee has been suspended pending the outcome of this."

West Ham also released a statement, stressing their belief that the bidding process had not been compromised.

The statement read: "We have become aware of enquiries being made in respect of a lady who has undertaken work for West Ham United on a consultancy basis relating to the Olympic Stadium project.

"Having learned of the enquiries, we have undertaken an initial internal investigation.

"We have established that the work that was carried out was not connected in any way to the bidding process for the Olympic Stadium, but procurement project management thereafter.

"We are of the firm view that the integrity of the bidding process has not been compromised.

"We consider that the bidding process was robust and believe that remains the case."

The woman, who has been suspended on full pay, told her bosses at the OPLC that she was in a relationship with a West Ham employee when she got the job at the company.

The suspended employee is a director at the OPLC. She alerted the OPLC of the situation on Thursday night and was suspended on Friday.

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Dave Williams

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