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O’Dochartaigh acted ‘recklessly’ in double expenses claims

padraig-doherty

BY C.J.MCGINLEY

A FORMER Donegal County Councillor acted ‘recklessly’ by claiming double expenses.

The Standards in Public Office Commission made the damning finding in its published investigation into double expenses claims by former County Councillor Padraig O’Dochartaigh from Gweedore.

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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 Doherty did not act in good faith in relation to each of the contraventions.

The report follows an investigation hearing held on 12 May 2014. The Standards Commission found that Mr Doherty 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 claiming travelling expenses from Údarás na Gaeltachta in respect of his attendance at the Association of County and City Councils’ Annual Conference 2007 at The Park Hotel, Dungarvan, County Waterford on 8, 9 and 10 March 2007 and later also claiming travelling and subsistence expenses in respect of attendance at the same Conference from Donegal County Council.

“The Standards Commission also found that Mr Doherty 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 claiming travelling expenses from Donegal County Council in respect of his attendance at the Irish Central Border Area Network Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk, County Louth on 20 November 2008 and later also claiming travelling and subsistence expenses in respect of attendance at a meeting of Údarás na Gaeltachta in Furbo, County Galway on 21 November 2008.

“The Commission found that Mr Doherty was not entitled to make separate claims for his journeys from home to Dundalk and then from home to Furbo and that he should have made a claim to Donegal County Council for his journey from home to Dundalk and then made a claim to Údarás na Gaeltachta for journeys from Dundalk to Furbo and from Furbo to his home.

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