MEMBERS of Carmarthenshire County Council's Executive Board are standing by Chief Executive Mark James and Head of Administartion and Law Linda Rees-Jones after MP Jonathan Edwards revealed earlier today he was calling on Dyfed-Powys Police to investigate two payments deemed unlawful by the Wales Audit Office.

Dyfed-Powys Police subsequently confirmed they were "liasing" with the Crown Prosecution Service and another police force in relation to the public interest reports issued by the WAO last week.

"There is a saying in this country that has been upheld over many years and that is – innocent until proven guilty," ran the Executive Board's statement.

"However, this sentiment appears to have been lost on an MP who penned a letter, copied to the press, which finds two Carmarthenshire County Council senior officers guilty of varying charges without making any pretence of fairness or balance.

"We understand he has asked two police forces to look into this matter prior to council even having the opportunity to look at all the information and debate these issues.

"This is premature at best, or political opportunism at its worst.

"The letter contains libellous and factually inaccurate statements, which is ironic because if the officers concerned issued information of this nature they would be pilloried for doing so.

"It appears the MP feels he has licence to publish any information regardless of checking all the facts which is extremely unfair on the individuals concerned.

"Both officers robustly deny they have acted in any way other than a professional and proper manner and are confident that this will be supported by the evidence when the matters go before full council.

"As an executive board they have our full support and we are sure that they will be vindicated, it would be wise if opposition politicians waited to see the full evidence before making judgment."