Cllr John O’Donnell says that the electorate of the Milford area will be the judges of his record on May 24th.
He was speaking after SIPO, the Standards in Public Office Commission found against the Cllr in respect of three alleged contraventions of Ethics in Public Office legislation, as well as the Local Government Act.
In a statement today, Cllr John O’ Donnell expressed his disappointment with the findings.
The statement in full:
“Following the report of the SIPO Commission investigation into my participation in the RTE Primetime Report of December 7 th 2015 I wish to express my disappointment with the findings.
SIPO has concluded that I acted incorrectly on a number of counts with regard to the ethics of local government legislation.
However it is important to point out that the SIPO hearing was not about any ‘criminal process’ and as such my record has not been tarnished in serving the people of Donegal within the terms of the Local Government Act.
There is no evidence whatever that I sought money for any service to the electorate in my role as an elected representative.
I have always acted in the public interest in my role as a Councillor in promoting the development of Donegal and I’ve never sought any benefit from that position.
My role as a business man is different but at all times I’ve acted strictly in accordance with guidelines and obligations under Part 15 of the Local Government Act and I am satisfied that I have complied with obligations.
I am disappointed that an RTE programme paid for by you, the licences payers, was used to ‘set up public representative’ using an undercover reporter, hidden cameras and recording devices.
My position was compromised since there appeared to be a misunderstanding between my role as a business man and that of a public representative.
While the SIPO Commission has found men guilty on three counts relating to ethics in politics, I wish to make it clear that no evidence emerged from the edited and unedited RTE recordings that I sought any remuneration in my role as a public representative.
I wrote a letter to the Secretary of Donegal County Council on December 9th 2015 apologising for any misunderstanding that may have arisen as a result of the Prime Time broadcast. I wished to exonerate any members of Donegal County Council from any perceived wrong and that it was not my intention to compromise the good name of any colleague, staff or members.
The electorate of the Milford area will be the judges of my record on May 24th ”