Sir Norman Bettison received pay and perks worth more than £250,000 over a five-year period under a local West Yorkshire scheme which may not have had a proper legal basis.
Details of a special package agreed by West Yorkshire Police Authority when Sir Norman was appointed in 2007 show he received an annual payment of £34,000 for a car or cars, despite being also provided with a chauffeur-driven car for official duties.
He also received £8,500 for “health and wellbeing” for private health insurance (including dental and optical cover) for Sir Norman and his immediate family and gym membership, again for both the chief constable and his immediate family.
A further £6,800 was provided for “continuing personal development activities of your choice, either in the UK or overseas”.
Home phone rental was paid for, along with at least 50 per cent of all calls regardless of whether work-related or not.
The package, which was subject to annual rises of up to 2.65 per cent between 2008 and 2010, also included a corporate credit card for use in connection with expenses for accommodation and subsistence and hospitality “including entertaining at home”.
All the extra pay and perks were on top of a basic salary in 2007 of around £160,000, which was already one of the highest chief constable salaries in the country and was set under an official national pay scale for chief officers which recognised the large size of the West Yorkshire force.
Minutes of private West Yorkshire Police Authority meetings which agreed the package show the authority received legal advice that the payments could be provided.
But it has now emerged similar perks provided to senior officers in North Yorkshire and Cleveland were ruled unlawful by a public spending watchdog.
The district auditor’s findings and subsequent court action to recover bonus payments made to former Cleveland chief constable Sean Price have placed a questionmark over Sir Norman’s payments.