A FORMER senior Tory has been charged with theft after he was sacked from his job representing the region’s architects.
Police launched an investigation into Jonjo MacNamara in April just days before he was due to stand as a Conservative councillor for Newcastle City Council in May’s local elections.
The probe came after the 32-year-old, from Newcastle, was dismissed as North East regional director of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for alleged gross misconduct.
It was said he stole almost £10,000 from the institute over a 12-month period.
Now, police have charged MacNamara with theft by employee and he is due to face a court later this month.
The Conservatives confirmed Mr MacNamara resigned from the party after the RIBA dismissed him in April.
MacNamara had hoped to contest the South Jesmond ward in the city council elections, but did not campaign after the allegations came to light. Before the claims emerged, the Conservatives had high hopes for the campaign.
MacNamara had been a councillor in North Tyneside, representing the Cullercoats ward from 2006 to 2010, and was to be the Tory’s spokesman for the campaign to get an elected mayor in Newcastle. He also joined the race to be the Tory candidate for the Hexham parliamentary seat, losing out to Guy Opperman, who won the seat in 2010.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Jonjo MacNamara, 32, previously of Jesmond, Newcastle, has been charged with theft by an employee and is due to appear before North Tyneside Magistrates' Court on November 15.”
A spokesman for RIBA said at the time that MacNamara’s dismissal came after formal disciplinary proceedings.
A statement released then said: “Following routine financial oversight, a number of irregularities came to light. A thorough internal investigation uncovered several instances of fraud and financial irregularity over the past 12 months amounting to nearly £10,000.”
It is said that no other RIBA employees were involved in any of the alleged misconduct.
MacNamara appeared publicly in March with Mr Opperman to promote the campaign for an elected mayor in Newcastle.
He had also helped to manage the unsuccessful parliamentary campaign for Tynemouth candidate Wendy Morton in 2010.
Police have charged MacNamara with theft by employee and he is due to face a court later this month