20 Nov 2008

Rickards entitled to $300,000 payment, say police

3:39 pm on 20 November 2008

Police say former Auckland commander Clint Rickards was entitled to a payment of $300,000 that he received when he resigned.

Mr Rickards has revealed that the money he received is substantially less than people may have believed.

Police deny the money was a payout or "golden handshake".

A spokesperson says the gross figure paid to Mr Rickards represents $210,000 in salary entitlements and another $90,000 for leave.

Mr Rickards is now pursuing a legal career and could be admitted to the Bar by Friday. He hopes work in Treaty and Maori land law.

Waatea News reports Mr Rickards was suspended from duty on full pay for three years while he was investigated, prosecuted and eventually acquitted of 20 charges including the rape and sexual violation of Louise Nicholas in the 1980s.

He wanted to return to work as a police officer, but later accepted a confidential severance package.

However, Ms Nicholas says Mr Rickards should not have received the money, because he resigned ahead of an internal police hearing into displinary matters.

She says the money would have been better spent on police training.