Contractor lifts suspension of Ashley Martin and says financial problems were caused by falling workloads and poor controls

Rok has exonerated former finance director Ashley Martin from any wrongdoing following his suspension from the social housing firm in August.

In a statement to the city this morning, the company said that following a review of its Avonside PHE business it had been concluded that financial problems had arisen due to “a scaling back of sub-contracting work from the private housing sector and a combination of weak operational, commercial and financial controls within that part of the business”.

Ashley Martin, Rok

It added: “Following the completion of these investigations, the board has lifted the suspension of the group finance director, Ashley Martin, immediately and without reservation. The board wishes to emphasize that Ashley has never been accused of wrongdoing nor have our investigations revealed any evidence of any malpractice.”

“The board finds it regrettable if there has been any damage to Ashley’s good reputation by any speculation outside of the company to the contrary. In view of the above events Ashley has decided to resign as a director immediately and will leave the business after a short handover period.”

Martin said: “The last eight weeks have been the most terrible in my professional life. The effect has been horrendous. The announcement and apology made by Rok this morning is unprecedented and restores my good reputation.”

Alongside this announcement, the company said it had appointed Sean Cummins as the new finance director, who joins from consultant engineer Scott Wilson, which was bought by US giant URS in July.