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Former Rok FD Ashley Martin moves on after clearing his name

Former Rok FD Ashley Martin said he will “move on” after an eight week fight to clear his name following his suspension amid poor trading at the firm’s PHE subsidiary.

Mr Martin was suspended in August after problem contracts were found in Rok’s plumbing, heating and electrical business. A lack of internal financial controls were blamed, with Mr Martin taking ultimate responsibility.

After an internal investigation, conducted during his suspension, no evidence of wrongdoing or malpractice was found and Mr Martin was reinstated, only to immediately resign.

He said: “I’m feeling better today than I have for the last eight weeks. I spent 30 years building up my reputation and this knocked it for six. I’ve spent the last eight weeks fighting this and during this time my family have been incredibly supportive.”

“Right now I need a rest and to take stock.”

After initially denying that poor trading was to blame for the PHE division’s performance, Rok’s review blamed a reduction in sub contracting work in the private housing sector for some of its problems.

In a statement issued to the London stock exchange yesterday, the firm said: “As a result of these full investigations, the board has concluded that the problems in the ex Avonside PHE business were 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.”

Mr Martin was successful in clearing his name and received an apology from his former employer. Yesterday’s statement added: “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.”