Phone-hacking: Senior Met figure steps down

Dick Fedorcio has avoided gross misconduct proceedings by resigning from his post as director of public affairs at the Metropolitan police, as the phone-hacking scandal claimed a new scalp.

The Met had begun the process which could have led to his departure over his decision to hire former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis' company Chamy Media for consultancy work.

Mr Wallis worked for nearly a year for the Met on a contract worth nearly £1,000 a day, providing the police with "strategic communications advice and support".

Mr Fedorcio had argued he chose Chamy Media over other bids from Bell Pottinger and Hanover because their prices were 50% more than Mr Wallis' – and because he knew and trusted the ex-journalist.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it had been forced to abandon its own disciplinary procedures against Mr Fedorcio.

Deputy chair Deborah Glass said "our report found Mr Fedorcio has a case to answer" over the decision to hire Mr Wallis.

Mr Wallis, known as 'Wolfman' in tabloid press circles, is one of those arrested over suspicion of intercepting mobile phones. He was questioned last July after becoming the ninth suspect held by police.

Mr Fedorcio had gone on extended leave last August after the phone-hacking scandal broke and commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson resigned.