A disciplinary committee set up to investigate a number of allegations relating to the chief executive of Pembrokeshire County Council  has just three weeks to conduct its review.

It was agreed last week at an extraordinary council meeting that a 15 member committee be set up to consider “all matters of conduct, trust and confidence in the chief executive be reviewed.”

The committee caries the power to suspend the chief executive.

A terms of reference document given to the committee at its first meeting today (Friday) states that statutory procedural rules state that the members must “decide whether it should be further investigated within one month of its appointment.

“So a week of our month is gone already?” asked Cllr Mike Stoddart, with a legal advisor appointed by the council Eversheds confirming this was the case.

Under fire Bryn Parry-Jones is currently working from home on full pay, and will take home around £15,000 in the month of the investigation, according to salary figures published in 2012.

The terms also state that the committee can include any proposal for dismissal on grounds of capability, or “some other substantial reason including a breakdown in trust and confidence between the relevant officer and the authority”.

It also has the power to suspend the relevant officer for the purposes of investigating the alleged misconduct.

The committee elected ruling Independent Plus group member Cllr Keith Lewis as chairman. Cllr Paul Miller, leader of the Labour group, arrived after the vote had been held.

Cllr David Lloyd, who was the second candidate nominated for chairman, was unanimously elected as vice chairman of the committee.

Members voted in favour of excluding the press and public from the discussions relating specifically to Mr Parry-Jones.

They were warned by legal advisors that any “leak” of information could prejudice the council’s case and any further action it was deemed necessary to take.

Huw Jones of Eversheds said that in employment disputes, legal advice would not be shared between parties or a third party.

“Ordinarily, employment disputes are not played out in the public domain,” he added.

Vice chairman Cllr Lloyd, who works as a barrister, added: “In legal matters it’s absolutely essential that legal privilege is taken seriously otherwise it could damage our case.”

*The committee adjourned its meeting jsut before 5pm and will reconvene on September 29.