Charity chief takes society to tribunal, alleging bribery The executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is taking the charity to a labour tribunal today, claiming she is being illegally forced out of her job and was offered a car if she resigned. Pauline Taylor's submission to this afternoon's hearing says the society, funded by donations and $1 million a year of government money, offered to let her keep her Mazda if she stepped down. The car was a gift to the society. After she refused the car, which she describes as a 'bribe', Dr Taylor says she received a letter while on sick leave in November giving her notice of her termination. She says the society breached the Employment Ordinance by telling her of her dismissal while she was on sick leave. The society responds that it only served notice of termination and would not dismiss her until her sick leave was over. Dr Taylor, 44, who has been off sick from her $66,800-a-month job since October, presided over a dramatic turnaround in the society's finances, from a $3 million deficit to a $3 million surplus, during her one-year tenure. Her submission says she fell out with the executive committee after she started looking into the 'past spending practices of the society'. It says the turnaround in finances 'raised uncomfortable questions about the executive committee's past practices ... a subject they were reluctant and uncomfortable addressing'. The society's submission says Dr Taylor verbally resigned in a heated meeting with executive committee members, including chairwoman Lisa Tsui Wing-miu, on July 5 last year. Ms Tsui says in a statement that Dr Taylor told her 'I resign' and 'I've had it up to here with the committee' at the July 5 meeting, following a dispute over the timing of the payment of staff bonuses and Dr Taylor's performance appraisal. Dr Taylor sent an e-mail 11 days later denying she had resigned, a gesture the society describes as a 'direct challenge to the integrity and honesty of the chairman'. The executive committee believed the situation had become 'intolerable' and decided in August to terminate Dr Taylor's contract and offered her the chance to resign rather than be dismissed, the society's submission says. The society makes no mention of the offer for Dr Taylor to keep her car but says it tried to give her the opportunity to leave 'with dignity and without undue publicity'. The charity points out Dr Taylor is still employed and paid and says the case is 'entirely without merit and could be construed as frivolous or vexatious'. At a stormy annual general meeting last month at which Dr Taylor's departure was debated, Ms Tsui dismissed allegations of financial irregularities and invited the Independent Commission Against Corruption to go over the charity's accounts. The society's general manager, John Lang. said last night: 'We have made repeated efforts to reach an amicable settlement in this matter and we are still keen to do so.' Dr Taylor did not return calls for comment.