A TOP officer has been pulled from the police commissioner’s office after The News revealed the posting.
Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo – whose salary is in the region of £70,000 a year – was acting as staff officer for Michael Lane.
Now The News can reveal Supt Bartolomeo has been redrafted to work on planning to make neighbourhood policing ‘fit for the future’.
Mr Lane’s office said no-one was in the job of staff officer and the responsibilities for the position were being looked at with the force.
The posting had acted as a link between Mr Lane and the force. It was agreed by chief constable Olivia Pinkney but came under fire last year.
The revelation comes after Mr Lane lost a crucial budget vote when the Police and Crime Panel approved a £12-a-year council tax hike but insisted it must be spent on frontline policing.
Mr Lane, pictured, had proposed to spend an extra £440,000 on ‘essential staff’, which he said was not an increase but just being transparent in the budget.
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: ‘Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo is no longer the Commissioner’s Staff Officer and moved back to the force in December 2017.
‘Paul is supporting the force’s efforts and planning to ensure local neighbourhood policing is fit for the future, which is particularly important to the commissioner given the financial challenges which are facing the PCC and the constabulary.
‘The commissioner does not currently have a staff officer.
‘He and the chief constable are considering what this role needs to provide, and he is exploring how that can be best delivered in respect of current budget pressures.’
Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter, who represents the rank-and-file, previously said the posting of a senior officer to Mr Lane’s office ‘sits uncomfortably’ with him.
Assistant chief constable Scott Chilton, from the force, previously said the posting was made after ‘careful consideration’.
Hampshire police declined to comment on the change when approached.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, represents Portsmouth City Council on the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel.
She said ‘police officers are stretched so much’ and a senior officer should not have been ‘taken off his work’ in the first place.
Cllr Stagg said: ‘You don’t have to be a police officer to actually liaise with the police themselves.’
Mr Lane recently told a meeting he worked more than 12-hour days and has no plans for a deputy.