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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity chief set to return after suspension and misconduct probe

This news post is 8 months old

Independent investigation says evidence did not support allegations

A charity chief suspended for misconduct is set to return to his post after a probe exonerated him.  

David Balharry, the chief executive of the John Muir Trust, is believed to have been fully cleared and is set to return to the organisation next month.

No details of the allegations have been released by the trust, however according to a spokesman for the charity the “independent report made clear the evidence gathered did not support the allegations” and Balharry was reinstated.

The investigation was carried out by an independent organisation.

Mary-Ann Ochota, the TV broadcaster, resigned as a trustee of the charity in September and claimed that serious matters were being ignored.

Jane Smallman, chairwoman of JMT, said: “We are delighted to have David return and pleased that we can now get back to focusing on our core objectives of protecting and restoring wild places for the benefit of communities, climate and nature.

“Following this investigation we will now seriously address what we can do to better protect staff from false allegations in future. The board of trustees would like to thank the staff for continuing to work with professionalism and passion during what has been a difficult period.”

Balharry was appointed to the post in 2019 after leaving the Scottish Government, where he worked as a civil servant with responsibility for rural policy.