Report into Cllr Slowey expenses likely to come before council

The Standards in Public Office Commission has found that Donegal Councillor Terence Slowey acted recklessly in double claiming for expenses when he attended two conferences in Cork and Kerry on the same weekend in 2008.

After a hearing a month ago, the commission finds Cllr Slowey breached ethics guidelines by claiming twice for the journey, and by failing to attend the entire conference in Killarney.

During the initial hearing into the case last month, Cllr Slowey's lawyer said there was no question that he had claimed double expenses. However, he stressed it was not done intentionally, and the money was returned as soon as the error was detected.

In its report, the commission says it had to determine whether the contraventions of the Local Government Act were committed inadvertently, negligently, recklessly or intentionally;

In each case, the Commission finds that the contraventions were committed recklessly, and they were, in all the circumstances, serious matters.

The Commission concludes that the claiming of unwarranted expenses is unacceptable, and is a serious matter. The Commission also finds that Councillor Slowey did not act in good faith in relation to each of the contraventions.

Copies of the Commission's report are now being sent to Donegal County Council, and to the Ministers for Finance and the Environment.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Donegal Cllr Cora Harvey has looked at the report.

It's likely the report will have to come before the Council at its next meeting.

And she says that it will be more clear what the process will be in relation to Cllr Terence Slowey in the coming days......

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