A banker has been sacked over his failure to discipline two colleagues accused of having sex in the toilets of a London bar.
George Eleftheriou, 50, was axed by Clydesdale Bank after an anonymous letter was sent by staff complaining about his lack of action regarding the scandal.
The couple, referred to as Z and N, were said to have had sex in the toilet of Dirty Martini in Covent Garden during a night out with colleagues.
In the letter, Mr Eleftheriou, head of regional business and private banking at Clydesdale, was also accused of having sex with the same woman in the company’s London office.
The letter said: ‘George Eleftheriou is aware that some time ago Z and N were engaged in sexual activity in open view of others in a public house on a team night out.
‘At the time George told people that the matter was dealt with and would not happen again.
‘It is also public knowledge within London that George was also sexually involved with N in the office and was caught in the act on CCTV. Did you know about this?’
Referring to the Dirty Martini incident, the letter continued: ‘Once again it is common knowledge within London that Z and N were caught in the ladies’ toilet actively engaged in a sexual activity.
‘Z and N were ejected (in full view of the public) from the premises by security. Are Z and N doing anything to enhance our image from their disgusting behaviour in public?’
The note went on to describe the four who were out that night along with Mr Elelftheriou, who wasn’t at the bar, as a ‘clique of untouchables’.
Mr Eleftheriou’s boss, Brian Colquhoun, head of commercial banking, who received the letter, spoke to other members of the team.
They told him unsubstantiated rumours that N had slept with other members of staff, gossip about the Dirty Martini incident and one occasion when a security guard had surprised N and Mr Eleftheriou in a compromising situation in the office.
He was also told rumours of Z and N’s inappropriate behaviour at a bank function at another bar, Champagne Charlie’s and that there was an unhealthy drinking culture amongst some members of staff.
It also emerged that Mr Eleftheriou, who had worked with N previously, referred to her as his ‘work wife’.
Although Mr Eleftheriou investigated the Dirty Martini incident and spoke to those who were there, the bank axed him after an internal investigation found he ‘did not take adequate action’ over the rumours.
He was dismissed without notice on October 17, 2016 for gross misconduct and an internal appeal against the sacking was dismissed in January 2017.
The woman, N was also separately investigated for ‘obscene communications’ with another colleague, C, and both were sacked for that.
But Z was only handed a final written warning for the Dirty Martini incident and behaving inappropriately with N on three other occasions.
Z’s immediate boss S who was also at the cocktail bar was given a final written warning and demoted.
Mr Eleftheriou claimed that his sacking was unfair as it was disproportionate and took his case of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal in London.
They ruled in his favour but said that he was a third responsible for his dismissal.
Z admitted being in the ladies with N but said they were just talking and denied any sexual activity with her at any time.
N admitted flirting with Z and that it was inappropriate when representing the Clydesdale Bank but said they had never had sexual relations.
Mr Eleftheriou also denied any sex with N.
The CCTV was never found and the security guard who is said to have walked in on them had left the company and couldn’t be traced.
He said he had a quiet word with Z who told him he was thrown out of the bar for being in the ladies, but nothing untoward had happened in there.
He described the incident as a ‘storm in a teacup’. He asked S to investigate further but was told later by him that Z and N had not been in a cubicle together.
Noone involved had complained, so Mr Eleftheriou decided not to ‘escalate it’.
The bank’s internal investigation said there was ‘no corroborating evidence’ of a fling between N and Mr Eleftheriou and recommended no further action, but said he must have been aware of the rumours concerning N and Z, he should have escalated his investigation to HR and that a clique was operating in his department.
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