The rias has made an offer of compensation to Dennis Rodwell, the architect it suspended for five years for professional misconduct in 1995. Rodwell has dismissed the offer, believed to be £25,000, as 'derisory' but said: 'It is positive that they appear to show a sense of wanting to resolve the situation. It is up to them not to play around like silly boys.'
Rodwell has not worked since the suspension, following complaints over the handling of housing-repair contracts for Edinburgh City Council, despite the fact that he has been exonerated by both riba and the arb. He is seeking damages for the loss of his livelihood and his practice, a sum estimated by his friends at between £1 million and 2 million. As the aj went to press, Rodwell was due to meet his lawyers to respond to the rias's offer. 'If they [the rias] are serious about reaching a settlement,' said Rodwell, 'they should be serious about the amount.'
Up until now the rias has maintained Rodwell's guilt, despite representations from the riba, its own members and Edinburgh City Council officials. Last June a court hearing forced the rias to reinstate Rodwell, but the rias 'lodged answers' with the court contesting the verdict. However, it has produced no more detailed evidence since then, which would be necessary for an appeal against the finding.
Rodwell said he is under financial threat 'from right, left and centre'. At last week's riba Council meeting, Rod Hackney said that Rodwell needed encouragement to save him from 'predator creditors' and called for the setting up of an emergency fund.