Keith Ireland, who suddenly stepped down from his role at the county council in November, received the award for his services to local government.
Mr Ireland was recognised for his work at City of Wolverhampton Council, where he was managing director from 2014 until 2018.
He left the role to join the county council in July 2018, but his departure was announced after just four months.
The council has refused to comment further, but a joint statement from council leader Martin Hill said the pair “did not share the same approach”.
Councillors have been given strict instructions by legal advisors not to discuss the matter.