A CCTV controller for a Birmingham regeneration charity was unfairly dismissed after raising concerns about a colleague, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.
Sammi Ibrahem, aged 43, of Balsall Heath Road, Edgbaston, worked as a CCTV manager for the Balsall Heath Forum until he was sacked on September 29 2003.
The tribunal heard how Mr Ibrahem made an accusation about a work colleague, stating he had physically assaulted a child and made racial comments about another employee.
Shortly after voicing his complaint, he was cautioned with disciplinary action over allegations he had offered to disregard CCTV footage showing motoring offences of some members of the Balsall Heath community if they paid him £50.
Mr Ibrahem rejected the claims and the matter was dropped by the police.
Balsall Heath Forum chief executive Dr Dick Atkinson told the tribunal he had looked into the allegations and given Mr Ibrahem opportunities to discuss the situation.
He said Mr Ibrahem's working conduct had deteriorated and he had been having problems with the same colleague he had made the complaint about.
"They were two residents living opposite each other and working together and they carried their work home, but we worked very hard to talk to them to resolve this," he said.
John Foley, representing Mr Ibrahem said he was unable to attend the meetings because of ill health.
He said Unison requested the hearing date be moved back for Mr Ibrahem to present a strong enough case in his defence. But the company carried on with the hearing and neither Mr Ibrahem or a Unison representative were present on the day he was formally dismissed.
Mr Foley said: "Unison felt Dr Atkinson would not be impartial in the hearing as he was investigating the previous allegations."
Employment tribunal chairman Paul Rose agreed that Dr Atkinson was not the right person to chair the disciplinary hearing. He said: "It was wrong.
"It was the same as a judge interviewing a police witness before a hearing."
The tribunal continues.