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13/04/11 - Investigation Report - Councillor, Donegal County Council
On 1 July 2010, the Standards Commission received a complaint dated 29 June 2010 from Councillor Brendan Byrne, then Mayor, Donegal County Council and Mr Michael McLoone, then County Manager, Donegal County Council, concerning Councillor Terence Slowey, Donegal County Council. The complaint centred on alleged contraventions of Part 15 of the Local Government Act 2001 in relation to the claiming of expenses from both Donegal County Council and the Border Regional Authority for attendance at conferences in Killarney and Clonakilty which took place over the weekend of 16-18 October 2008.
Having considered the matter, the Commission appointed Mr Paddy Walsh of the Office of the Ombudsman as Inquiry Officer on 14 July 2010 under Section 6 of the Standards Act to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the complaint, to prepare a report of his enquiry, to furnish any statements made to him by the persons complained of and any other relevant persons, along with any relevant documents and to express an opinion as to whether there was prima facie evidence to sustain the complaint. The Inquiry Officer presented the report of his enquiry to the Commission on 3 November 2010, along with relevant statements and documents. He expressed the opinion that there was prima facie evidence to sustain some elements of the complaint.
Having examined the provisions of the Ethics Acts and the Local Government Act and having taken account of the report of the Inquiry Officer, the Commission decided on 12 November 2010 that it was appropriate to carry out an investigation under section 23 of the Ethics Act to determine whether Councillor Slowey had contravened Part 15 of the Local Government Act or had done a "specified act" within the meaning of the Ethics Acts. Details of the alleged contraventions are included in the Commission's correspondence with Councillor Slowey dated 12 January 2011 - see Appendix 1.