Ripon City Council has announced the resignation of its City Development Manager, Alan Weston.
In a statement on its website, the council said he was suspended from duties due to a breach of regulations.
The council’s clerk confirmed that no councillors were involved or aware of the matter until it was brought to their attention.
The statement published on the council’s website reads: “Ripon City Council has recently received the resignation of the City Development Manager which has been accepted.
“The council has recently reviewed its staffing structure and will advertise a vacant post later this week.
“In November 2017 this council faced public criticism as a result of having to take items of business in private session where members of the public and press were excluded from its meetings.
“This action was necessary as both Local Government and Employment Law required it. The council are now in a position to make a public statement in respect of those deliberations.
“When presented with an invoice for payment it was apparent to the clerk that the council was being asked to pay an invoice for which it had no legal power to do so.
“The council is not permitted to undertake activities of a commercial nature.
“This invoice related to the commissioning of an online advent calendar by the City Development Manager. Subsequent investigations showed that Ripon City Council’s financial regulations had been breached, as they require that three quotations are obtained for any spend above £100.
“No other quotations had been sought from other providers for this project.
“Ripon City Council had no option but to pay the sum of £1,455 to the company involved who had acted in good faith and believed that a contract had been formed with the council.
"The council would like to place on record its thanks to the Clerk and other members of staff who have undertaken many additional responsibilities in light of this situation in recent months."
The 'Gazette contacted Mr Weston yesterday for a response.