A SENIOR North Coast detective who tested positive to cocaine was allowed to leave the force with full pay before an internal investigation into his actions had been completed, police have confirmed.
Detective Inspector Shane Diehm was second in charge of the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command when he tested positive to cocaine following a party in Sydney last August.
He had previously served as duty officer at Byron Bay and as a detective in the Richmond Local Area Command where he led the investigation in to the murder of German backpacker Simone Strobel.
He was suspended with pay pending the outcome of a Professional Standards Command investigation.
Police confirmed this week Insp Diehm had been discharged (not dismissed) from the NSW Police Force on November 8.
Asked why the commissioned officer had been allowed to leave with full pay, a police spokeswoman said "the process relating to the officer's discharge is entirely separate from the Professional Standards Command investigation and was completed prior to the finalisation of the PSC inquiry".
She said the discharge process relating to Insp Diehm was based on a recommendation from an independent expert and related to a non work-related matter.
"While the PSC investigation has now been completed, due to investigative necessities it could not be completed at an earlier stage," she said
"Appropriate oversight in relation to completeness and timeliness was conducted by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Specialist Operations."
Another North Coast officer, who was also tested for drugs following the party, remains suspended pending the outcome of a PSC investigation.