A BOOZY night out in the late 1960s has come back to haunt former Bassetlaw Council leader Mike Quigley from pursuing his ambition to become Notts’ first police commissioner.
Coun Quigley, who was chosen as the Conservative candidate for the role, pulled out of the running due to a ‘minor offence’ committed 44 years ago while out celebrating his 21st birthday in Leeds.
He was arrested for smashing a window and the offence, which he was fined for by magistrates in 1968, bars him from standing under Home Office rulings.
“I don’t recall actually what happened. Friends have told me I broke a window and that’s as much as I remember,” he said.
“I think someone had been spiking my drink with vodka. It’s just one of those things. I’ve never tried to hide it.”
The conviction has long been spent and only came to light after he had included it when applying for the role.
Home Office rulings say anyone convicted of an offence which could attract a prison sentence cannot run as a candidate.
“If I’d have known I wouldn’t have been able to stand then I wouldn’t have put myself through all the hassle,” he said.
“I declared it on my application. If I had been dishonest then I could have got away with it, but I’m not that sort of person.”
“I play down the middle. What was unclear was the offence. In those days offences were dealt with in a different way.”
“I just got a fine for a minor offence of criminal damage. These days you would pay compensation and just get a caution.”
Coun Quigley, who lost his Bassetlaw seat following May’s local elections, was elected to represent the Retford West division on Notts County Council in June 2009.
He has been a member of the police authority for the past three years, currently holding the position as joint vice chairman.
He was also awarded a MBE for services to Bassetlaw Hospice and the people of Retford in 2004.
“It was an honour to be selected as the Conservative Party’s Notts candidate,” he added. “It is with regret that I must stand down.”
Deputy Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council Tony Roberts has been confirmed as the party’s new candidate.
The elected commissioner, who will replace Notts Police Authority, is expected to set the force’s priorities, set the budget and hold the chief constable to account, among other responsibilities.
The elections will take place on 15th November 2012.