A senior officer at Haringey Council has previously been found guilty of financial misconduct by a professional standards body.
Tracie Evans, the council’s interim chief operations officer, was investigated by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) last month for forging the signature on altered accounts while a director of Sundragon Associates in January 2012.
The civil servant is currently responsible for finances, human resources, IT, customer service, environmental services and community safety. The only more senior officer is the chief executive.
Ms Evans is said to have become “frustrated” with the firm's accountant, who had submitted the accounts to Companies House with incorrect dates on them. Ms Evans altered the accounts and signed on behalf of her co-director, Nathan Elvery, without his consent.
CIPFA decided last month that Ms Evans, who has worked for Haringey Council since December 2013, breached its professional standards and “failed to act in accordance with the fundamental principle of integrity”.
In a report published on its website, CIPFA announced that its disciplinary committee had imposed “the sanction of a severe reprimand” on Ms Evans, though noted that three character witnesses attested to her “professionalism, high ethical standards and commitment”.
It continued: “The committee heard evidence that this matter was seen, variously, as an aberration, a silly mistake and a surprising, one off, out-of-character action.
"Ms Evans had admitted liability and shown contrition. She had been acting in a solo capacity, after the company had ceased trading, and there were no adverse consequences."
A spokesman for Haringey Council said: “Tracie is a well-regarded, trustworthy and reliable professional who has always been open about this issue.
“She has made an excellent contribution to Haringey, leading on some of the council’s key transformation programmes and playing a key role in the organisation’s Strategic Leadership Team.”
Mr Elvery is currently the chief executive of Croydon Council.
Sundragon Associates was dissolved in 2012.