Saturday, 28th July, 2018
It is believed there is a Code of Conduct allegation against one of the local Councillor’s for statements made on Facebook.
It is alleged that Councillor Tom Kennedy has a Code of Conduct complaint against him for his behaviour on social media.
“If I was subject to a Code of Conduct complaint, I would not be able to make a comment or bring the process into disrepute,” he said yesterday.
It is believed that comments made from Clr Kennedy through Facebook were seen to be slandering Council.
This complaint comes after the four Code of Conduct issues that were finally resolved last year, costing Council over $55,000.
In 2017, Council was required by the Office of Local Government to report on the number of Code of Conduct complaints made, how they were dealt with, and how much it costs Council to deal with them.
As of August 31, 2016, Council had received four such complaints about Councillors, which were forwarded to an external Conduct Reviewer.
One case failed to meet the requirements, while another was resolved in confidence at the November Council meeting.
Another case saw a Councillor apologise and in the last case a Councillor was reimbursed for $21,400 in legal fees.
A new Code of Conduct brought in last year created new standards around bullying, discrimination and harassment and the use of social media.
Breaches of the new Code of Conduct by councillors can result in suspension and even disqualification from office and these new proposed requirements will put an even greater onus on councillors to behave appropriately or face the consequences if they don’t serve their ratepayers.