The council’s acting chief executive, Eugene Walker, confirmed that Bevan Brittan has now completed a draft of the report.
Mr Walker said: ‘Due to the scope of the investigation and the volume of documents involved, it has taken longer than expected to identify and provide all required information to Bevan Brittan.
“However, the board has now received a draft version of the report and will provide feedback to Bevan Brittan in the coming weeks to enable the creation of a final version.
“Once the final report has gone through the proper processes, it will then be published.”
Mr Walker has previously admitted that some emails were ‘incorrectly flagged’ and were not exempt from publication under freedom of information laws.
The investigation was launched following a complaint by street tree activist and freedom of information (FOI) expert Marcus Combie to the council over his use of legal privilege in emails and the faith.
Emails implicating senior council officers about Operation Quito – a major police operation supporting tree-cutting operations on council streets in early 2018 in light of growing protests against the policy – have been communicated to Mr. Combie at the end of 2019.
Several of them were given the subject line ‘Covered by legal privilege and not subject to freedom of information’ and largely related to the council’s involvement in a shared media strategy with South Yorkshire Police and the desire not to make it public for fear of “politicizing” the force. transaction.
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