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O’Loan cleared

Thursday, 16 November 2017

O’Loan cleared thumbnailCouncillor Declan O’Loan is considering what further action may be open to him. GB46200 p1

BALLYMENA SDLP councillor, Declan O'Loan, has said he is considering possible "further action", after the formal rejection of a complaint against him by the chief executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy, which called for him to be suspended.
The complaint, which was made under the Code of Conduct for councillors, was assessed by the Local Government Commissioner for Standards as not meriting investigation.
Councillor O'Loan said: "I am of course very pleased with this outcome and was at all times certain that I had fully complied with the Code of Conduct.
“I had a position of responsibility as Chair of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee.
“When the Northern Ireland Audit Office drew the attention of the Committee to the fact that a tender for a Professional Services Contract had been wrongly awarded by the Council, I regarded it as essential that this be thoroughly investigated.
“All of my actions were directed towards this end. I was not involved in the award of the tender."
Councillor O'Loan added: "The Office of the Commissioner for Standards assesses a complaint to decide whether it should be investigated.
“This complaint failed the first assessment criterion, that the supporting evidence must indicate conduct by the councillor, which if proven to have occurred, may be considered to constitute a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct.
“There was therefore no basis for proceeding with an investigation.
“While this is a satisfactory outcome for me, I think it should be a concern for all involved with local government that such a complaint was made at all.
“Any complaint under the Code of Conduct is serious, and one from the Chief Executive of the Council is particularly serious.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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