The leader of North Lanarkshire Council has been cleared of any wrongdoing following a Police Scotland investigation into allegations he was involved in corruption inside the authority.
Jim Logue was reported to police last month after it emerged he was formerly the director of two unauthorised council subsidiary companies.
The police investigation came after the council received an anonymous letter highlighting issues with procurement processes and contracts.
Mr Logue ordered an investigation into the claims in April last year and its results were reported to council managers in September 2016.
SNP councillors had called on him to stand down until the allegations were investigated but their call was voted down by Labour, Conservative and independent councillors.
Now following a police probe, officers have ruled there was no evidence of any criminality on the part of the council leader.
Councillor Logue dismissed the police complaint as a “failed smear attempt” against him.
He said: “It is no surprise that Police Scotland has found no substance to the spurious allegations made against me.
“This whole episode has been a waste of time for the police and for the council. In my view, the police should consider the extent to which their valuable time and resources have been wasted by the people behind this farce.
“I have been a councillor for 40 years. 30 years ago I put my political prospects on the line to expose wrongdoing by members of my own party in Monklands District Council. Last year, I ensured there was a proper investigation into allegations of corruption in procurement based on anonymous but credible allegations, something other politicians would be extremely cautious about doing.
“Anyone who knows me and the way I go about my business knows that I would never be involved in fraud or corruption of any kind. I am very grateful for the support of my family and my colleagues during what has been an extremely difficult time.
“This whole episode has been a failed smear attempt. But the people who are complicit in that smear attempt should know this: I will never be diverted from my role in leading a forward-thinking council which achieves, and will continue to achieve, great things for the communities of North Lanarkshire.
“My focus is now on delivering the biggest council housebuilding programme in a generation in Scotland, on delivering record levels of economic growth, on building half a billion pounds worth of new schools. These are the things that matter to the people of North Lanarkshire.”
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland has concluded its investigation and no criminality has been established.”