THREE top Caerphilly council officers appeared in crown court today charged with misconduct.

Chief executive Michael Anthony O'Sullivan 55, of Merthyr Tydfil, deputy chief executive Nigel Barnett 51, of Aberbargoed and head of legal services Daniel Perkins 48, of Brynmawr, are each charged with misconduct in public office between June 1, 2012 and October, 10, 2012.

The three, who appeared at Bristol Crown Court, are charged with preventing proper scrutiny of the senior officer pay award.

The three only spoke to confirm their names.

They will next appear in court on September 2 for a plea and case management hearing, while a provisional date of January 5, 2015, has been set for a trial if not guilty pleas are entered. A trial would be expected to last three to four weeks, the court heard.

The three were granted unconditional bail.