THE head of a racial equality group which went bust has been arrested.
Carl Hayes, chief executive of Kirklees Equality and Human Rights Agency (KEHRA), has been questioned as police confirm for the first time they are involved in the probe into the agency’s dramatic collapse.
It suddenly ceased last month amid allegations of cash problems.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A 38-year-old man was arrested in connection with our inquiries into KEHRA. He was released on police bail pending further enquiries.”
The dramatic development came as the top Kirklees Council official broke his silence over the controversy.
Chief executive Rob Vincent wrote to the Examiner to explain the council’s role in the unfolding story.
Last month the Examiner revealed how KEHRA – formerly known as Kirklees Racial Equality Council (KREC) – collapsed after the council withdrew its £100,000-a-year funding pending financial investigations.
KEHRA, which was based on John William Street in Huddersfield town centre, had 500 members and was dealing with 150 immigration and 70 racial harassment cases at the time of its collapse.
The group also ran projects such as Breaking Barriers Building Bridges, a scheme to promote harmony among young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
A leading councillor now wants to know what will be done to help KEHRA’s former clients.
Greenhead Labour councillor Mehboob Khan, his group’s leader on Kirklees, said: “The withdrawal of this service will have a severe impact on the hundreds of vulnerable individuals who were being assisted by KEHRA.
“Therefore I would like to know what service will be put in place in the interim to support these citizens.”
Meanwhile, a recruitment consultancy has revealed that it found Hayes his first job at KEHRA.
A spokeswoman for Hays Accountancy and Finance said: “We placed Mr Hayes in a five-month interim project manager role at KEHRA from October, 2006, to March, 2007.”
Mr Hayes became its permanent chief executive last year.
On September 29 the Examiner printed that Kiran Bali was a former chairman of personnel at KEHRA. Ms Bali was, in fact, a chairman of personnel at KREC and left the organisation some time before it became KEHRA.