The chief of South Lanarkshire Council has been suspended for 2 months for disclosing confidential info to the media.
Labour’s Joe Fagan was discovered to have leaked an inventory of amenities that had been reported to be liable to closure below the earlier SNP council administration.
He was discovered to have breached the councillors’ code of conduct shortly earlier than the 2021 Holyrood election.
The Requirements Fee mentioned the disclosure to the press would have led to hypothesis about amenities being closed – earlier than any last choice had been taken – which might have triggered « undue and pointless concern ».
The panel added that Mr Fagan was motivated « at the least partly » for political acquire.
In response to the ruling on Tuesday, Mr Fagan mentioned: « I remorse what has occurred however my conscience is evident.
« I did what I believed to be proper and that is why I bought into native authorities within the first place.
« My accusers mentioned I leaked info and but I brazenly disclosed it in good religion.
« I imagine the Requirements framework in Scotland ought to go after actual wrongdoing in native authorities, it shouldn’t tie the palms of these working to reveal it. »
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‘A failure to respect confidentiality’
The Requirements Fee mentioned it was « disillusioned » Mr Fagan had disclosed the knowledge.
Suzanne Vestri, Requirements Fee member and chair of the listening to panel, mentioned: « The duty on councillors to chorus from disclosing confidential info is a key requirement of the councillors’ code of conduct.
« A failure to respect confidentiality can injury the status and integrity of a council, and may impede discussions and decision-making.
« The panel agreed that, on this case, it was reliable for the council to have determined that the knowledge be saved confidential till such a time because the proposals mentioned had been finalised and officers had ample time to arrange and handle exterior communications.
« This may make sure the council’s place and response had been communicated clearly and totally. »
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Mr Fagan was mentioned to have cooperated totally with the investigation.
The panel additionally discovered « no proof of repeated behaviour over a protracted time frame, of dishonesty and/or concealment, or of any earlier contraventions of the code » by the councillor.
A South Lanarkshire Council spokesperson mentioned: « We word the end result of the listening to of the Moral Requirements Fee for Scotland and we await the written judgement, which we count on to obtain inside 14 days. »
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