FIRE service bosses say a "conclusion" has been reached between the organisation and a former chief fire officer who was dismissed following a two-year investigation thought to have cost taxpayers £1 million.

A two-day mediation hearing was held between Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and former chief officer David Johnson as the East London Employment Tribunal last week.

Mr Johnson was dismissed with immediate effect by bosses in April, having not worked for more than two years.

He had initially been granted sick leave in June 2014 and when he tried to return in June 2015, he was instantly suspended on full pay.

A misconduct investigation was launched but requests about the circumstances of the probe were always refused.

Mr Johnson is thought to have faced ten counts of alleged misconduct or gross misconduct but a report showed no evidence of such behaviour had ever been found.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, confirmed a settlement had been reached between the fire service and Mr Johnson.

He said: “We are pleased that we have been able to reach a conclusion to this case, recognising that it has taken judicial mediation, and that there is now a way forward for Mr Johnson that both parties can accept.”

Mr Hirst's office said they would not be disclosing financial details of the settlement.

Adam Eckley took on the chief fire officer role in an interim basis during Mr Johnson's suspension and then permanently in August after this dismissal.

Last month former chief executive of Lancashire County Council Jo Turton was chosen as the new chief fire officer and chief executive for the fire service and is set to start work in April despite having no experience in the industry.