AN investigation by Gloucester Constabulary into two allegedly unlawful transactions involving Carmarthenshire County Council chief executive Mark James has found no evidence to suggest criminal activity has taken place, it has been announced this afternoon.

Police have confirmed that on the basis of these conclusions they will be taking no further action in relation to matters raised by the Wales Audit Office in September of last year.

Mr James, 54, who has been chief executive at County Hall since 2002, "stepped aside" from his post on February 14 while Gloucestershire Constabulary – an external, independent Force – examined two issues deemed "unlawful" by the WAO.

These were a £28,750 "pay supplement" given in lieu of employer pension contributions and a council-funded indemnity granted to Mr James for his libel counter claim against blogger Jacqui Thompson.

A police statement today said: “On January 30, 2014 three Public Interest Reports were published by the Wales Audit Office into matters relating to Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire County Councils. Following this, Dyfed Powys Police decided that the matters should be investigated ‘in the public interest’ to ascertain whether or not any criminal offences had taken place.

"Due to the close working relationships and partnership arrangements that exist between Dyfed-Powys Police and both local authorities, it was not appropriate for the Force to carry out the enquiry. As such, the matter was referred to Gloucestershire Constabulary who agreed to undertake the investigation.

"Gloucester Constabulary have now completed their enquiries and have confirmed that following an objective and independent analysis of the evidence, they did not find any evidence to suggest that any criminal offences had taken place. On the basis of this, the police will be taking no further action in relation to these matters.

"Both local authorities have been advised of this decision.”