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FORMER MAYOR LARKIN PLANS TO FIGHT ALLEGATIONS ALL THE WAY

first_imgFormer Mayor of Donegal Dessie Larkin said he full intends to contest allegations that he claimed expenses from two state agencies for travel on the same day.The Standards in Public Office Commission found he broke ethics legislation by claiming expenses from the local authority and the Regional Assembly for travel and subsistence.The matter has now been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and could result in a criminal case against the former councillor and current Letterkenny Town Manager. However Mr Larkin has indicated that he intends to fully contest all matters.A source close to the Letterkenny man said “This is not just a straight forward incident. It was very technical and Dessie does not believe he did anything wrong.“People will realise this when all of the details come out. Dessie fully intends to contest this matter all the way.”Mr Larkin was also found to have submitted claims to Donegal County Council for attendance at two conferences in Co Roscommon and Co Mayo without taking the shortest route. The SIPO statement in full –The Standards Commission has found the former county councillor contravened ethics legislation when he submitted claims for travelling and subsistence expenses.It found that he submitted claims to both the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly for attending a meeting of the Assembly and to Donegal County Council for attendance at a conference on the same date and that he submitted claims to Donegal County Council for attendance at two conferences in Ballinlough, County Roscommon and Westport, County Mayo without claiming expenses for the shortest overall route.The Standards Commission has also made recommendations to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government for reform of expenses claim forms and ethics undertakings by councillors.The investigation report, together with full details of the Standards Commission’s findings and determinations, is available on the Commission’s website – www.sipo.gov.ie This is the SIPO statement on the matter.The Standards Commission has today published its investigation report about alleged contraventions of the Ethical Framework for the Local Government Service (Part 15 of the Local Government Act 2001) and the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001 by former Councillor Dessie Larkin, Donegal County Council, in connection with claims by him for travelling and subsistence expenses. The report follows an investigation hearing held on 20 October 2014.The investigation concerned nine alleged contraventions of ethics legislation, which arise from three sets of circumstances. The Standards Commission found against Mr Larkin in six of the alleged contraventions and in his favour in three.The Standards Commission found that Mr Larkin contravened sections 168 and 169(3) of the Local Government Act 2001, acted in disregard of provisions of the Code of Conduct for Councillors and did a ‘specified act’ within the meaning of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 in regard to two sets of circumstances. He received travelling and subsistence expenses from the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly for attending a meeting of the Assembly in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon on 23 June 2006 and also claiming travelling and subsistence expenses from Donegal County Council in respect of attendance at a Chambers Ireland conference at Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, County Westmeath, on the same date. The Standards Commission found that each of these contraventions was committed intentionally and was, in all the circumstances, a serious matter. The Commission also found that Mr Larkin did not act in good faith in relation to each of the contraventions.He claimed travelling and subsistence expenses from Donegal County Council for attending a conference organised by the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly in Ballinlough, County Roscommon on Thursday, 8 June 2006 and claimed travelling and subsistence expenses from Donegal County Council for attending at an Architecture in Public Service conference in Westport, County Mayo on Thursday, 8 June and Friday, 9 June 2006 but failed to claim the travelling expense based on the shortest overall route between the conference at Ballinlough and the conference at Westport. The Standards Commission found that each of the contraventions was committed recklessly and was, in all the circumstances, a serious matter. The Commission also found that Mr Larkin did not act in good faith in relation to each of the contraventions.The Commission found that allegations that Mr Larkin contravened sections 168 and 169(3) of the Local Government Act 2001, acted in disregard of provisions of the Code of Conduct for Councillors and did a ‘specified act’ within the meaning of the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 by failing to attend a conference of Celtic Tourism at Marriott Druids Glen Hotel and Country Club, Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow on Wednesday, 15 February 2006 were not established.The Commission has sent its report to Mr Larkin, to Mr Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Manager and Councillor John Campbell, Mayor, Donegal County Council (Mr Neely and a predecessor of Councillor Campbell made the complaint to the Standards Commission) and also to the Ministers for Public Expenditure and Reform and for the Environment, Community and Local Government.The Standards Commission made the following recommendations to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:that he should make new regulations amending the undertaking made by a member of a local authority contained in the declaration form to provide that he/she declares that he/she has both read and understood the Code of Conduct for Councillors and undertakes to have regard to and be guided by the Code in the exercise of his/her functions;that he should also emphasise to all local authorities the importance of maintaining accurate records of the supply of copies of the Code of Conduct to all local authority members;that he should introduce a revised claim form for travelling and subsistence allowances which would require a member of a local authority to provide all such details relevant to a claim as are sufficient to allow a local authority to make payment of only such allowances as relates to travel away from home on official business andthat the form should ask members to provide such details as would be required to distinguish between travel expenses incurred for official business purposes and for other business or personal purposes.The full report can be read at www.sipo.gov.ieFORMER MAYOR LARKIN PLANS TO FIGHT ALLEGATIONS ALL THE WAY was last modified: December 19th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:allegationscounty councillorDessie LarkinSIPOlast_img

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