Image caption Aaron Shotton is facing three allegations of breaching a code of conduct

A former council leader accused of breaching a code of conduct has denied an extra-marital affair with his personal assistant, a hearing was told.

Aaron Shotton resigned as leader of Flintshire County Council in April in a row over the sacking of his deputy.

He faces three charges unrelated to the alleged relationship reported in the press, an adjudication panel heard.

The Llandudno hearing was told both he and his former PA denied having a sexual relationship at work.

The case, which follows a referral by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, will consider if he breached the code of conduct for councillors by giving an employee an opportunity to view questions before an interview, authorising his PA to hire vehicles using authority resources and sending or encouraging his PA to send inappropriate messages during office hours.

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Panel chairman Claire Jones said some of the evidence during the three-day hearing would be heard in private as "it is not core evidence" to the allegations.

She said the panel had to strike a balance between the principle of open justice and human rights laws when it came to a personal relationship between two people.

Joanne Clement, representing Mr Shotton, said the press stories were "based on allegations that are not before this tribunal and on allegations both parties deny happened".

Giving evidence, the council's chief executive Colin Everett said Mr Shotton was someone with "vision and determination", adding he had never had concerns about him misusing public funds.

He said he had been "very saddened" when Mr Shotton stood down as leader but also felt relief because of the pressure he and the council had been under.